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RE: legislators vs wildlife experts?

On Thu, 3 Sep 1998, Jay DeLong wrote:

> 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.

I'm not saying that at all...however, you must agree that in the world of
science that not everyone agrees on evrything.  There are as many opinions
as there are people. Certainly there are some 'general' precepts that are
widely acknowledge as a 'norm' but by no means are they observed by
everyone.  Remember, the bozo's get important management jobs too.  I
don't criticize someone just because they are wrong (in my opinion) what
really erks me is when I have something to say and the so called
"proffesionals" won't listen because of one reason or another.  That could
be because of a lack of degree, lower degree or various other egocentric
reasons.  Don't misunderstand, I respect the people who work hard in the
various bilogical occupations...I just don't think they alone should be
making all the environmental decisions.  It reminds me of an old biblical
proverb: "...in the multitude of counselors there is safety"
(paraphrased).  Excluding anyone from the process generates ill will.

  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
> all.  
Yes, and in considering cost especially monetary, your average biologist
may not have the correct economic background to truly know the full extent
of a projects costs...where resources will come from, etc.  That's why
others need to be included in the decision making process.

> 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.

Didn't say that...or at least didn't mean it the way you put it.  But
common sense DOES go a long way towards achieving basic goals.  A lot of
the old timers I knew cared about the environment but didn't necessarily
know what to do about it.  If they had been included in the discussions
and their basic knowledge about localities and species had been considered
perhaps a lot of valuable money and time could have been saved.

  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.
I would not want him making the final decision either...but I WOULD
consider what he had to say. And I bet he knew at least one or two things
that would have been helpful.  Simple public awareness work might have
helped bring it out.  

> 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.   

Sure, no argument there.  I learned to think on my feet from an early
age.  Remember, I'm 34 now and have been out in the real world somewhat
already and had to survive there.  Had I not been injured, I would still
be out there surviving today. There is always room for improvement of any
skill, mental or physical.  Just remember that college isn't the only
classroom out there.  There is also a "school of hard knocks" to mention
only one.  :)


> Jay
> > 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
> wildlife
> > 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
> > > 
> > > 
> >