Contributors to this thread:
2016 Idaho Legislation
This morning I have 1 question for my bowhunting friends in Idaho.
What have you done to spread the word about the current House and Senate bills concerning our IDF+G being forced to issue auction tags? The legislators to not allow IDF+G employees the ability to apply for draw tags?
When I look at the ISB Region 3 area archery clubs pages I see very minimal or NO mention of this! What I do see is postings concerning your upcoming 3D shoots.
This begs me to ask the question; Are you a hunting organization or a 3D club?
The actions currently happening in the legislative process can and will adversely affect you and your childrens hunting oppurtunities.
I can only imagine the bitching/pissing/moaning if the proposed bills get approved.
I surely would have expected more from the clubs in Region 3....extremely disappointed to say the least.
This is exactly what many of we old farts have been concerned about for several years! Tad has been doing a great job on the auction tag issue but membership involvement sucks on the important issues.
I contacted three commissioners, plus placed several calls to members.
I have 1000 or so followers on my FB page- I'm assuming some read my note there. My letter was shared several times- hopefully some people are going through and making the contacts.
here's my note if anyone wants to paraphrase it. committee addys are on the bottom-
Sportsmen and women friends who hunt Idaho- urgent time to drop the legislature a note. Urgent, as in, TODAY. if you are the average Joe, you should be very upset about this. If you're for this new law, fine. I'm personally VERY against it- here is the letter I sent to the capitol- I'll include the pertinent committee member's email at the bottom of this.
Dear Committee Members, Please vote against SB 1236 –the bill that would change current law to the point that it would force the issuance of Governor's Wildlife Partnership Tags (Auction Tags). As a sportsman, I am 100% against this, as is every other sportsman or woman that I know. If I understand correctly (particularly Title 36 103-b), the Legislature’s role is to create policy, and the Fish and Game Department’s role is to implement that policy prudently as per the needs and desires of sportsmen, while being mindful of biological requirements of wildlife -- specifically because "it is impractical for the legislature of the state of Idaho to administer such policy." SB1236 violates that trust and does not reflect well on legislators who support it- it is NOT the legislators’ role to administer policy in this regard. Comparing this bill to other attempted bills last year (auction tags, bonus point systems, land owner extra-permits), it is hard not to think that landowners and people of means are pushing for advantage, and it horrifies me to think that some elected officials are considering catering to them over the common Idaho sportsmen and women. I must say, it bothers me a great deal that every year I find myself contacting my representatives to say these same things- we DO NOT want auction tags to happen. We DO NOT want bonus tags to happen. Who keeps bringing this up, and what is their motivation? Something is not right. In a recent conversation with Fish and Game, a comment was made that this legislation is being pushed to increase revenue for Fish and Game, which is sorely needed. As a working class sportsman with many like-minded peers, I can assure you that we would welcome a fee increase (Fish and Game has proposed this, yes?--with support from the sportsmen they work with every day, yes?) long before we would support auction tags or bonus points or any other scheme that takes opportunity away and rewards a highest bidder. Please remember this before thinking of supporting or drafting auction or bonus tag suggestions in the future. Please vote against SB1236. It will put you on the opposite side of this issue from the vast majority of voting Idaho outdoorsmen and women. Thank you,
Here is the pertinent committee's contact information. firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; lHeider@senate.idaho.gov; sNuxoll@senate.idaho.gov; cBayer@senate.idaho.gov; mHagedorn@senate.idaho.gov; mStennett@senate.idaho.gov; rLacey@senate.idaho.gov;
Same as Niji, I got burned out of the club gig. However, I have shared over 1,000 emails and shared the same letter Niji did on Facebook to over 1,000 folks there too. I know of at least 25 emails that were sent from people involved with our kids camp.
Mike Schlegel has spoke of this issue many times here on bowsite over the years even when he didn't hold any club ties or positions. Many of us are still involved just behind the spotlight so to say.
Thanks fellas, keep it going please!
I was about to go off on people for not doing anything, WOW am i wrong! Thank you to all of you for helping our we need more and we need people to understand that it is not F&G screwing us, we are screwing ourselves by not speaking up!
Thank you again to those of you that are being active ant trying to get others involved as well!!
Editorial: Bair and Moyle disregard the 'people's law' By Marty Trillhaase Wednesday, February 24, 2016 In 1938, Idaho voters passed an initiative, placing Fish and Game under an independent, nonpartisan commission. Winning 76 percent of the vote, it was Idaho's first successful initiative. Along with the Sunshine Law and the Homeowner's Initiative, it remains one of the premier examples of the "people's law." Now two Idaho politicians - Senate Resources and Environment Committee Chairman Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star - are behind a blatant power grab to undermine the voice of the voters. In the process, Bair and Moyle would erase the egalitarianism that has been Fish and Game's legacy these past 78 years. At issue is their bill directing Fish and Game to auction three tags each for controlled elk, deer and pronghorn hunts and one each for bighorn sheep, mountain goats and moose. With the exemption of a single bighorn sheep hunt the state has auctioned - it got $90,000 last year - Fish and Game has defended its tradition of giving everyone, resident and nonresident alike, an equal chance at winning a random drawing for a prized hunt in addition to the general elk and deer hunting seasons. That's in stark contrast to other states - and nations - where hunting is a rich person's endeavor. Apparently, Idaho lawmakers have had other ideas. In 2012, they passed a bill strongly suggesting that Fish and Game jump in the auction business as a way to raise more cash. Always struggling for money, the commission nevertheless declined to go along. Two years later, the politicians tried another route. Looking for a way to raise more dollars, Fish and Game proposed offering Idahoans a deal. If they maintained an active hunting and/or fishing license, they would avoid paying increased fees. Fish and Game called it a "price lock" bill. Otherwise, price increases would kick in for the 2015 season. The Legislature's counter offer was to allow landowners to sell the hunting tags they receive for providing big game habitat, institute auction tags and launch a bonus point system for controlled hunts. Those sportsmen willing to pay extra would have an inside shot at winning the prized hunts. The commission withdrew its bill. With the economy recovering and more people returning to hunting and fishing, the agency managed to get by without a fee increase. Now, Bair and Moyle are about to insist. No longer would the Fish and Game Commission have the option of auctioning off the hunts to the highest bidder. Their bill would strip the commission of its discretion and mandate the auctions take place. Imagine that - partisan politicians, not the duly appointed commissioners - changing the dynamic of Fish and Game's business model. And don't be so sure the public supports this. True, one Fish and Game poll shows 55 percent of people who hunt and fish agree with the idea of auctioning tags to support wildlife management. That is until you get specific. Asked about auctioning a dozen tags, a bare 51 percent would be willing to go along. When the Bair-Moyle bill emerged, Fish and Game commissioners signaled they were about to discuss auctioning five prized hunts. At that point, reaction ran 75 percent against the move. So the commission put the idea on hold until its March 8-10 meeting in Boise. That leaves the ball in the Legislature's court, where the Bair-Moyle bill has been sitting in committee for three weeks. But you can be certain of this much: If Bair and Moyle have their way, this won't stop with 12 auctioned tags. Who is to say when the number might reach 100 or 500 or even 1,000 - with the best hunting opportunities Idaho has to offer becoming the exclusive province of those with the deepest pockets? If politicians can transform the social contract of hunting and wildlife management in Idaho by institutionalizing privilege where none exists - and in the process enfeeble a Fish and Game Commission created by a vote of the people - what else will they try? - M.T.
Chairman Bair, Senators of the Resource and Environment Committee: My name is Mark Doerr, Chairman of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. I write this as testimony to be added to the record for the hearings on Senate Bill 1344. This is my opinion and does not represent the opinion of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in its entirety. The Commission has not had the opportunity to weigh in on or discuss this bill due to the speed it has moved through committee. I oppose Senate Bill 1344. The reasons are as follows: * Senator Brackett states that the system needs to be transparent. The process of controlled hunt drawings in Idaho is as follows: The IDFG assigns a random number to an applicant. All random numbers are then forwarded to the State Auditor's office. The Auditor's office then re-assigns another random number to each applicant. We now have 2 random assignments to each applicant. The numbers are then loaded into the computer system, which has been programmed with a complex algorithm to randomly draw numbers for controlled hunts. This system is open to any person who wishes to observe the process. It has been audited numerous times and has been found to be fair, random and un-biased. The system is transparent. * It has also been stated by Senator Brackett that it is perceived that the system of controlled hunts is not fair and that perception is reality, therefore change is needed. If the commission were to make decisions based on perception, rather than facts, we would be unable to properly manage wildlife in the state of Idaho. Facts always trump perception and the commission makes decisions based on fact. The commission surveyed sportsman in the fall of 2015, compiled the results in November of 2015 and overwhelmingly sportsman supported the current controlled hunt system that is in place. Sportsmen were asked if they were satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system. 58% of sportsmen were satisfied with the current system and 9% undecided. * Senator Siddoway while commenting on the Senate Resource Committee regarding S1344 stated that 2 commissioners drew sheep tags in Idaho last year. He is correct. 1 had been applying for over 20 years. The other drew a tag the first time he applied. The odds of drawing a sheep tag in Idaho vary from 1 in 5 to 1 in 263. I personally know of a husband and wife who applied for sheep hunts, each in different parts of the State of Idaho, and both drew in the same year. So the odds are not that high that 2 commissioners could draw in the same year. To imply that the system is therefore biased and in need of change is not supported by fact. * The part of this I have the most concern with is that the claims of lack of transparency, commissioners and IDFG employees drawing controlled hunt tags unfairly or in a biased manner, is thick with the implication that there is corruption in the commission, IDFG and the Auditor's office. No facts to back up these assertions exist. Quite to the contrary, the commission, IDFG and Auditor's office are above reproach in the way they conduct themselves and no facts to the contrary have been presented. To impugn the reputation of the commission, employees of the IDFG and the Auditor's office for political emphasis is wrong. * Sportsmen are decidedly against this change of administration from the Commission to the Legislature. Again, this is moving fast, but in my initial discussions with the Idaho Sportsman's Alliance, they are against this change. * The Commission does play a critical role in representing the sportsmen that financially support the IDFG. Long standing Commission process has been to build consensus on critical issues like this. There has been no demonstrated problem with the current system other than assertions that it is not transparent and is corrupt. If there are no facts to back this up, then I ask 2 questions: Why does the legislature need to make this change? Why does the legislature desire to strip the commission of its history of properly implementing this program? History of the commission and why I opposed this change on principle: In 1938, the first citizens initiative in the State of Idaho, mandated the creation of a professional department of fish and game to manage Idaho's wildlife and a citizen commission form of government to oversee this new department. The reason for this major change was to remove politics from the business of managing the states wildlife. If you read the 1939 Idaho Code addressing these changes to Title 36, it demonstrates how everything from the selection of the Director to game wardens to fish managers had been corrupted by politics, wildlife was suffering and the citizens wanted a change. Most importantly it needs to be remembered, the Legislature did not create a professionally run Department and citizen commission out of a gesture of goodwill. Quite to the contrary. The citizens removed the legislative authority to manage the states wildlife because the legislature had politically made a mess of the process. What came out of that tumultuous series of events was the creation of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Title 36 as it was written in 1938 and is still written today, it states: A. "All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping." B. "Commission to Administer Policy. Because conditions are changing and in changing affect the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of Idaho wildlife, the methods and means of administering and carrying out the state's policy must be flexible and dependent on the ascertainment of facts which from time to time exist and fix the needs for regulation and control of fishing, hunting, trapping, and other activity relating to wildlife, and because it is inconvenient and impractical for the legislature of the state of Idaho to administer such policy, it shall be the authority, power and duty of the fish and game commission to administer and carry out the policy of the state in accordance with the provisions of the Idaho fish and game code. The commission is not authorized to change such policy but only to administer it." So by definition, the Commission cannot change the policy. But the policy is defined. It is to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage the states wildlife. And the legislature yields to the citizens when it states "because it is inconvenient and impractical for the legislature of the state of Idaho to administer and carry out the policy, it shall be the authority, power and duty of the fish and game commission to administer and carry out the policy." That part was a result of the citizens initiative, which mandated the commission administer wildlife policy. It also says we can't change the policy. But that means we cannot adopt market hunting, exterminate a population of animals or remove "protect" from the code, etc. We have to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage for surpluses for hunting, fishing and trapping. Nowhere does it state, if the legislature decides it would like to take this authority back, it need to simply pass legislation nullifying the commission or to have the commission stop its administration and defer to a new political desire of the legislature. I am not saying the legislature doesn't have a role in wildlife policy. If the commission chooses to propose a new law or rule, applicable to the policy of Title 36, to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage, it is appropriate that the legislature is the check and balance on the commission to ensure the policy is not being changed and that law flow not from agencies, but from the legislature. And this has worked for almost 8 decades, 78 years to be exact. But over the last several years, there seems to be a concerted effort to in fact undo what the citizens mandated in 1938, and force the commission to act on certain issues that are ripe with the politics the 1938 initiative sought to stop. The policy above states that the commission shall "administer" the policy, not "implement" the policy. I think this is an important difference. I believe the choice of words was well thought out, to ensure that as long as the commission was acting in good faith and was not negligent in its administration of wildlife policy, it was not to be micro managed by the legislature; to remain free of political interference. Here are the definitions as found in Merriam's Dictionary: Implement: Carry out, accomplish Administer: To manage or supervise the execution, use, or conduct of One final thought on the administration of policy. The Fish and Game Commission does have a higher mandate than any other commission in the state of Idaho, because it was set up as the result of a citizen's initiative. Even if the words in Title 36 say something different to you, the citizens did require the setting up of a professional fish and game department with oversight by a citizen commission form of government. The spirit of the initiative was to remove politics from wildlife management, and thus the legislature gave that administration to the commission. I think this requires the legislature to move slowly and prudently when making changes to commission administration of wildlife policy, and have defined, well thought out reasons if changes are necessary. With that in mind I ask you, how many laws need to be written by the legislature, restricting commission authority to administer the policy, before you have effectively nullified the commission and the voters? At some point, after a number of new laws, you have overridden the citizens initiative and without asking their opinion, rendered their collective voting, 78% of voters in 1938, irrelevant. So in closing, the commission needs to work in close collaboration with the Legislature for a variety of reasons on a variety of issues. This testimony is not meant to provoke a reaction. It is meant to be part of the democratic process and proper public discourse to be sure well thought out, informed decisions are made on behalf the citizens of the State of Idaho. Thank you for your time and consideration on this issue. Sincerely, Mark Doerr Chairman Idaho Fish and Game Commission Region 4, Magic Valley
Well said. I think we need to get some new legislators
Tad, Where else have these editorials appeared besides the Bowsite? If they are in publications that allow comments, we need to be sure to flood the comment boards.
Found Marty's letter here where we can comment- but it looks like the Commissioner's letter went straight to the legislators?
We need you at the legislature this Monday, Feb. 29 at 1:30 p.m. A joint hearing is scheduled with the House & Senate Resource Committees in the The scheduled hearing is about how some in the Idaho legislature (and in Utah) want to lock us out of our public lands and waste our tax dollars on a frivolous lawsuit. This is about more than just public lands. By holding this hearing, the legislature is directly calling sportsmen out. Last year sportsmen raised our voices at the legislature. We held a highly visible rally on the steps of the capitol. We beat back bills on public lands transfer and won in the press. We stopped a number of bad amendments seeking to corrupt a necessary fee increase for our IDFG. We took a loss on the menigeal worm rule, but we went down swinging. Now senate resources is calling our bluff. Make no mistake, they don’t believe we have what it takes to fight over the long haul. This is same the committee trying to ram auction tags down our throats. This is the committee dead set on undermining our IDFG commission and ignoring the will of Idaho sportsmen. This is committee chairman who wants to see sportsman opportunity – in the form of elk tags – transferred to landowners for profit. Monday's hearing is not about public lands, it is about respect. It’s about sportsmen paying our fair share and deserving a fair shake. It’s about preserving fishing and hunting opportunity for our kids and grandkids and calling out legislators for these laughable shenanigans designed to line their own pockets. This hearing is about standing up for our IDFG, the agency that we fund and count on to preserve our fish and wildlife. It’s about standing up for our commission, who could teach the legislature much about transparency and understanding the will of their constituency. Meet with other sportsmen at 1 p.m in the park across from the capitol
Hope there is a good turnout for this one.
From my Senator.
"Scott: I voted against the bill. S. Thayn"
Its at this point that all sportsmen need to contact Gov. Otter and let him know that we will be speaking up during this years election process. If you read the editorial in the statesmen today you will understand how crooked our politicians are. It is not the legislators job to manage wildlife in Idaho it is the F&G and Commissions responsibility based on hunter input. Senator Bair and Rep Moyle have straight out said they do not care what their constituents want. We listened into a hearing yesterday where Rep Bateman wanted his constituents to just do what he wanted. PLEASE WRITE THE GOVERNOR AND LET HIM KNOW THAT WE SUPPORT OUR COMMISSION FOR MANAGING WILDLIFE OVER OUR MONEY DRIVEN LEGISLATORS!!! http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/article63438807.html
Sorry I couldn't get to the park yesterday. How did that go? The editorial this AM did pretty well point things out.
What the heck is the problem with Moyle and Bair? Are they just in someone's pocket or what?? Is Otter in the same pocket?
Moyle has NEVER been about the sportsman of Idaho. Both of these clowns are up for re-election this year. I can only hope we as voters can change their positions in the political forum.
Add these clowns to the mix also.
It looks like this bill passed the Senate committee and is now headed to resources and environment committee. I have started an online petition to try and help get this stopped before it's too late.
If you agree to what's in the petition please feel free to pass it along on any other huntig forums,Facebook or anywhere else you think it might help gain some traction. Thanks.
I thought I saw on Facebook where several senators told their constituents that this bill died for the year. Is it still alive or not?
It is still alive. Please continue to e-mail/call the legislation/Gov.
Just seen this on another hunting site.....
By Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game public information specialist
Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Thursday, March 10, decided against adding more big-game tags for auction.
Fish and Game has auctioned a single bighorn sheep tag annually since 1988. That tag sold for $90,000 in January.
Commissioners had a lengthy discussion about auction tags, noting that sportsmen and women overwhelmingly opposed expanding auction tags during meetings they held in recent weeks in their regions. At the commission's public hearing Wednesday in Boise, 14 commenters unanimously opposed issuing more auction tags.
A recent questionnaire about expanding auction tags on Fish and Game's website got 591 responses with 80 percent opposing them, 15 percent supporting and 5 percent neutral.
However, in the 2015 Idaho Hunter Opinion Survey - a scientific random survey, 55 percent of respondents said it was acceptable to auction tags to generate funds for wildlife management. Another 37 percent disagreed and 8 percent were neutral. When asked if up to 12 more auction tags should be released to help fund wildlife management and hunter access programs, 51 percent agreed, 38 percent disagreed and 11 percent were neutral.
The Idaho Legislature in 2012 gave authority to the Fish and Game commission to auction up to 12 "Governor's Wildlife Partnership" big-game tags, which could include three each for deer, elk and pronghorn and one each for bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat.
Since that legislation passed, the commission has regularly discussed Governor's tags but never offered any.
But the way i understand it, it passed the senate and was headed to the resouces and enviramental committie for approval.
I know it may be late, but I just found this email from my senator in my "Junk" folder.
Scott, Thank you for reaching out to me about the proposed changes to the auction tag system. I am not a proponent of elite tags in general and am happy to report this measure never advanced out of my Resources and Environment Committee. I remain comfortable with the existing language stating the Dept of Fish & Game “may” auction tags based on regional hunt conditions and would not have supported this change requiring the Department to issue tags regardless of local concerns. It is very helpful to hear from folks across the state about the myriad issues we confront in Boise during the legislative session. I believe that government works best when everyone is paying close attention. Respectfully, Michelle
I got the same response today from Senator Stenett. Sometimes I don't mind getting a form letter.
I got the same response today from Senator Stenett. Sometimes I don't mind getting a form letter.
Niji was that a "Form" reply twice?....LOL.
She also replied again to me today when I invited her to come see our kids camp.
"That is super! As a hunter myself, I’m a big proponent of hunter safety training so thank you for your good work. Michelle"