Letters to the editor

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Thanks for efforts with Forest Service fees

Dear Editor,
Let’s hope the final wording reflects Chief Thomas Tidwell’s stated resolve to protect working journalists’ reporting on USFS lands. But we’re only half way home on this issue. Similar objectionable restrictions continue on other federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. We should insist these agencies take a cue from Mr. Tidwell and re-write their commercial photography and recording policies to ensure uniformity and fairness for reporters working on these lands as well.
Dave Carlson, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

A step beyond the Michigan R.A.P program

Dear Editor,
We all detest game law violators who are essentially stealing from us all! Although we as outdoors-persons don’t all agree on the current policies enacted by our politically pressured DNR, we all agree that sound science-based wildlife and environment management should be our ultimate goal. Currently our DNR falls short of this objective. We have a viable suggestion for our DNR and our legislators that could be a step in the right direction!
Those individuals who blatantly and knowingly violate and steal from the rest of us should assume a larger responsibility for funding what they choose to destroy! We propose that we be compensated for helping to “police our own ranks” as the current R.A.P program only starts to do! Our legislature is good at interfering with our DNR’s sound science-based wildlife professional’s proposed action plans by coming up with purely financialbased directives and regulations. A prime example is the “over the top” license increases for resident and non-resident hunters and fishermen that should have been imposed incrementally if at all! The results of these actions were predictable by those of us who consider the “big picture” before we act. The facts are clear. We continue to have low new hunter recruitment, in 2013-14 had lower hunter participation and satisfaction, reduced license sales, and more violations for unlicensed hunting and fishing and poaching! This trend needs to be turned around NOW!
HERE IS OUR PROPOSAL: Have our legislators initiate yet another financially based regulation that does more than just generate money. This will relieve the financial burdens of law abiding outdoor users at the expense of violators. Along with continuing to raise the fines for game law and environmental violations, put a “bounty” on the heads of violators! Expand the R.A.P program to include a reward of 25% of the fines imposed on successfully prosecuted violators to be paid to the tipster(s) that initiated the violation investigation. Current R.A.P anonymity can be maintained. Financial gains always motivate action. The best way to curb violations and protect our wild resources is to hit violators where it really hurts…their wallets! An added incentive for adoption of this new policy will be more enjoyable wild outdoor experiences for all that will encourage ethical and legal activities, sportsmanship, and set good examples for potential new recruits as well as the non-hunting public! This could be a win-win proposition for everyone…except violators!
Joe LunkasMesick, Michigan

Feedback guidelines

Members are encouraged to write about issues and topics. The executive director and editor will decide whether opinions are appropriate for debate or if the comments promote a personal cause; if the “cause” is unrelated to OWAA’s mission and potentially damaging to the membership, the letter might not be printed. Word limit: 400. Longer letters will be returned for revision. Send letters to editor@owaa.org.


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