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RE: legislators vs wildlife experts?

Howdy, Luke.

I understand your frustrations, and it was unfortunate that the turkey
biologists were so against giving credit where they should have.  My
whole point is that whomever makes natural resource decisions needs to
do so by using the best available science.  Bozos are in every walk of
life and some make their way to natural resource agencies.   When you
are faced with an issue and disagree with a scientist or trained
biologist, don't say he/she is wrong, power-hungry or  unresponsive to
your needs as a citizen.  Stop and consider their position and what
experience they've had on the subject.  At the same time, that biologist
shouldn't belittle you unless your idea is really flawed.  If you keep
coming back with similar ideas, there may be a point when they become
irritated and unresponsive.

The times they are a changin'.  Management decisions that require
careful consideration of many factors (positive and negative outcomes,
true costs and benefits (not just monetary), needs of the environment
over public needs) that many people are not aware of.  Resource managers
need to keep up with the state of scientific knowledge, and so do we

I'm sorry, but I absolutely disagree that there's some sort of down-home
common sense that's always been around, and that it is all you need to
do the right thing.  You mentioned the knowledge of old timers.  I'm not
disagreeing that some are wise, but I once knew an old guy that everyone
classified as wise.  I did, too.  He was a fascinating talker and a
great storyteller and outdoorsman.  But this fellow still thought he
lived in another time where populations were less dense, what one person
did didn't affect others, pollution wasn't a problem because it could be
diluted by air and water, and our earth's resources were unlimited.
This guy had his own ideas about resources and I respected him because
they made sense when I looked at where he came from and how he was
raised.  He still had an outhouse over his creek in the country, but he
didn't use it because he had indoor plumbing.   He was intelligent and
persuasive, but not a person most of us would want making resource
management decisions today.

Not everyone can go to school, and you don't have to have a degree to
affect positive change.   I spent too much time taking too many classes
I didn't like, but I was changed for the better.  Learning how to use
libraries is an invaluable thing that all of us can do.  Access to
information is a benefit we all enjoy, but many of us never realize.
Also, I can't stress enough the need to develop critical thinking
skills.  With time you can be more logical and persuasive.  These are
very important talents/skills/tools and they help you in every aspect of
your life.   


> Jay,
>   It's not that I don't agree that the "experts" should be in 
> control of
> any wildlife program...my only concern is "who watches the watchers"?
> Back about 1980 here in this part of Kansas there was a big push to
> re-establish the wild turkey in the state.  It had been hunted to
> extinction in the last century.  Wildlife officials began restocking
> efforts around many of our large federal reservoirs.  Private citizens
> also began restocking programs...include my grandpa,dad, and me. Our
> efforts and the efforts of several others in our area had Wild Turkeys
> well established before any stocked birds were released 
> within 25 miles of
> the area. I know this from direct observations of the flocks. 
>  Still the wildlife people stubbornly refuse to credit private 
> landowners with any
> stocking successes...they say the "well meaning but misguided attempts
> were failures".  BULL.  
>  So I guess I'm just a little leary of leaving it all up to the
> people (don't forget I want to be one too) whose egos won't 
> allow them to
> acknowledge that the "uneducated" of the world just might be able to
> accomplish some good now and then.  Simply because one has an 
> education
> does not necessarily mean they know more about the local 
> flora and fauna.
> There are a lot of 'old timers' in these parts that could teach all us
> students of biology (graduated or not) a lot about our 
> environment.  Plus,
> no matter how well educated or trained, many people still 
> follow there own
> personal agenda once they have some "power".  That is why I for one
> applaud it when that authority is put under a checks and 
> balances such as
> some minor legislative action.  Authority works best when it 
> is limited.
> Luke
> On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Jay DeLong wrote:
> > Hello Luke.
> > 
> > >   Our legislative body is OUR governing voice.  Don't 
> forget WE THE
> > > PEOPLE...  These legislatures oversee the wildlife and parks 
> > > people and
> > > the latter can do nothing contrary to the established 
> > > laws...and if they
> > > do, they answer to the legislature.  I personally would 
> rather have a
> > > representative who will listen to my views instead of a 
> > > "wildlife espert"
> > > who will do what he/she thinks is best come hell or high water.
> > 
> > No offense intended I promise.  You're a great guy and I 
> respect you.
> > But, I don't understand why you categorize people like this.  If you
> > have had problems with a biologist in Kansas, or talked to 
> someone who
> > had problems elsewhere,  it isn't fair to say this about state or
> > federal biologists everywhere.  Also, politicians do not always have
> > your best interests in mind.  There's nothing that peeves 
> me more than
> > career politicians who turn more often than a weather vane. 
>  And the two
> > are not enemies or on opposite ends of the opinion 
> spectrum.   State and
> > federal biologists were once college biology students like 
> you are right
> > now.  
> > 
> > Legislators want to trust their state's natural resource 
> agency staff to
> > make the technical decisions, and I think we should want 
> them to, also.
> > The legislature funds the agency.  The agency develops programs, and
> > hires employees.  The employees use their knowledge, 
> background, etc,
> > and develop management plans and carry them out.  At each step the
> > politicians are further removed from the technical aspects 
> of the work
> > being performed by the agency.   Sure, some agency biologists or
> > administrators can be stubborn and unresponsive, but they 
> are not evil
> > people simply because they don't agree with you.   
> > 
> > It may take time, but I think we all need to establish a 
> relationship
> > with our state and federal natural resource agencies if we want to
> > influence them.  Their biologists are educated people, and 
> you'll need
> > to interact with them in a professional and intelligent manner.  An
> > anti-agency attitude isn't going to make your tasks easier to
> > accomplish.  I am not a state or federal biologist, by the way. 
> > 
> > Jay
> > 
> >