Contributors to this thread:
Like a Thief in the Night-Please Help
Please lend a hand in helping the sheep herd in my home state of South Dakota. Like a thief in the night, the Governor and our state game commission are trying to siphon off the funds we raise annually through WSF and the auction of our Bighorn Sheep tag to fund her so called "Second century habitat initiative". This is an initiative to fund improved pheasant and wildlife habitat in the state not at all related to bighorn sheep. The auction tag is one of, if not THE largest single source of funding for bighorn sheep in SD. As most of you know, the world record archery bighorn was harvested here last fall. The proposal will open the badlands unit where this sheep was killed to the auction tag holder and will reallocate funds to the second century initiative. I'm okay with the badlands unit being included for the auction tag holder as that would unquestionably drive the price high into the 6 digits for our sheep but I'm not okay with that money funding anything other than sheep. I'm humbly asking that you contact our commissioners and assist us in stopping the raping of our sheep resource for pheasant habitat funding. The information and details of this THEFT is on page 3 at my link. They slid this in at the 11th hour with no opportunity for public comment. Please consider sending emails to our commission today expressing your displeasure! Thank you so much for your help!
The link to our commission's contact info. Thank you.
I would like to craft an email.... can you tell me if the money raised via the auction tag is already ear marked for wild sheep habitat and conservation ? If so can you provide some detail to how? I ask so I can reference it in the email. Thanks
Trial, there is a signed agreement dated January 1, 2018 between the Midwest chapter of WSF and the SD GFP that specifically states "SDGFP shall use enhancement monies received from WSF-Midwest to undertake bighorn sheep conservation projects". Signed by Tony Leif of the SD GFP and Nick Negrini of the Midwest chapter of WSF. This agreement authorizes the sale of the tag and earmarks the funds. The agreement is written in a way that give the SD GFP a lot of leverage as to whether or not they actualy give that tag to WSF though. I.E. They could yank the tag from WSF for lots of BS reasons and then auction it behind their back and earmark the funds for other stuff....basically what they are doing!
Thanks that’s what I need. I will draft an email and send it along. Not sure what if any weight they will give a nonresidents opinion on the matter as I have no imput other then I can reference being a WSF member and have bought SD licenses in the past, as late as last year. Thanks again
Thanks for your help Trial! As a WSF member you certainly would be able to bid on the tag potentially and as a prospective bidder having a say in how the funds are utilized should carry some water. Appreciate you taking the time to do this for our sheep!
I spoke with Gary Jensen in regards to this issue. If anyone can make it to this meeting tomorrow it would be strongly encouraged. It seems he has heard from a significant number of people in regards to this issue. Please call or e-mail on regards to this if you cant be there. Thanks
Nice work Tim, thanks for taking the time to call him.
Brotsky, if you wrote a rough draft of a template, that would probably help for some to work from to send in. Those who don't want to work from your draft could simply ignore and those who didn't love the exact language could tweak it. But... I bet it would make it a lot easier for many.
Scoot, agree that would make it much easier but having dealt with our commissioners and legislators in the past, they tend to ignore "form letters" or variations thereof. They lend more credence to individual thoughts, communication. That said, really all that needs to be mentioned is:
"I am vehemently opposed to the commission's consideration of earmarking funds raised through the auction of SD's bighorn sheep tag for any concern not directly related to the preservation of bighorn sheep in SD. The auction tag is specifically allocated to the Midwest chapter of WSF by written agreement in order to raise funds for the preservation of wild sheep in SD. The auction funds should continue to be utilized solely as outlined in the valid agreement with WSF-Midwest. The Governor's Second Century Initiative is not a valid recipient of funds under the auction tag agreement with WSF-Midwest and would place the SD GFP in violation of that agreement."
Happy to help......Email sent....
Do it for the ladies!
Thanks for bringing this up Brotsky. Someone tried to express this to me and I did not understand it completely Sheep proceeds should support sheep in our state that’s it.
I really couldn't see a better way to spend my day in the office.
Email sent to everybody listed on the commission page.
Thanks guys! Sheep like this don't happen by accident! This funding is also being utilized to do ground breaking research on pneumonia and how to protect sheep from interaction with domesticated herds.
Tell them that the WSF will not participate in the auction of the sheep tag if the money is not directed to wild sheep research projects.
I also emailed all of them.
Response I received:
Christian On behalf of the GFP Commissioners, I am writing to thank you for your contribution to the Bighorn Sheep discussion. As a commission, we are tasked with looking at not only what is good for today but also what is good for the long-term. Our list of responsibilities, to name a few, includes being good stewards of public lands and addressing issues of wildlife biology while considering the many wants, needs and expectations of the public. We try very hard to be fair. When a good idea is presented, it warrants consideration. This idea offers a new method to generate more habitat funding while maintaining dollars for big game management and research, including Bighorn Sheep. I have been reminded of the fact that we have out of state license holders who only come here to hunt pheasant and we have out of state anglers coming only to fish. While there is not time for me to confirm the specifics with staff, I believe that their fees go to enhance overall wildlife & fisheries throughout the state, regardless of what species they would prefer their dollars going to. Impactful decisions such as this are never taken lightly and we understand that not everyone will ever agree with all decisions that are made. As with all changes, if this moves forward, the Department and Commission will closely monitor and review the outcome. Your comments are appreciated and I encourage you continue communicating on this and other issues. Thank you. Mary Anne Boyd Yankton
My reply after several fingers of Bulleit and minimal thought.
Thank you, MaryAnne for taking the time to reply. What I don’t understand is why funds allocated directly, and specifically to one species would be dispersed among several species that are already being funded in other avenues. This tag is auctioned by WSF, not the Wild Every Species Foundation. I understand the auctioned tag is provided by the State but can you tell me how much money from Pheasants Forever or any fishery-based conservation groups is allocated to bighorn sheep? My guess is closer to zero than what’s being proposed in this move. Think of the revenue that could be dispersed to other species’ conservation long term should your wonderful - and I mean that wholeheartedly- state grow a sheep population big enough to support nonresident application and hunting of BH sheep.
I am a pheasant hunter in your state. I grew up hunting in Eureka and have had several opportunities in recent years to hunt in Winner. I sincerely appreciate what you do for the pheasant populations. I’ve fished walleye in several lakes. I appreciate the opportunity in that regard. But taking funding away from an animal such as the bighorn sheep is so short sighted in my most humble opinion. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has never worked in the long term and I hope you all realize this.
Again, I plead to you on bended knee to reconsider this move.
I hope all the Email traffic helps ya out JB.
That is kinda not very fair to the tax paying citizens to play $huffle with income from the tag.
Good luck, Robb
Yooper, there are close to 75,000 NR hunters and an equal number of resident pheasant hunters that come to SD each year to hunt. The state could issue a “2nd century Habitat Stamp” to each of those hunters for $10 and they would raise 2-3 times the money they would from the auction of this license. Just one of the MANY options that have been presented to raise money for this initiative. There’s lots of ways to raise money for pheasants, how many ways are there to raise money for sheep? That was a big theme in my communications. Thank you so much for taking the time to help our sheep!
Well said" There’s lots of ways to raise money for pheasants, how many ways are there to raise money for sheep" I will incorporate that in another letter today.
I'll craft and email and send it out as well Justin. Another NR voice but it all helps!
Brotsky and others, I tried to send an e-mail, but none of the "click here to e-mail" links in the link you provided work for me. Can you post an e-mail address here please?
Gary.Jensen@state.sd.us; WScott.Phillips@state.sd.us; Russell.Olson@state.sd.us; Doug.Sharp@state.sd.us; email@example.com; MaryAnne.Boyd@state.sd.us; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Scoot, right click on the hyperlinks and it'll allow you the option to "copy email address."
I emailed all of them. Hopefully it helps.
Update: As a result of all of the public feedback and response the commission received related to this item it has been removed from consideration at today's meeting. The department and commission "will be further discussing a comprehensive package to bring forward at a later date." This means the Midwest chapter of WSF will be auctioning off the Elk Mountain tag again this year as has been done in the past with all proceeds going to fund wild sheep research in SD. This is a small and temporary victory for wild sheep in SD, however we'll need to stay on top of this to insure the tag isn't brought into the mix again. I am a little disappointed they didn't expand the auction tag to the Badlands unit however. That tag would have brought north of $300k IMO for the sheep. The Elk Mountain tag will only bring $75k-$100K. $300k for sheep would have been the ultimate victory IMO. The Badlands unit can certainly sustain a harvest of 2 sheep. Thank you for all your e-mails and calls! We can celebrate a small win today while remaining vigilant for the future.
Sweet- good deal! Good work Brotsky for bringing this to people's attention here at bowsite. Justin, do you figure my e-mail is what pushed them over the edge??? :)
I'm sure it did Scoot. I have copied the actual text of Scoot's e-mail below so everyone knows the lengths he went to to help out! Ha!
"My Name is Scoot, you keeled my sheep. Prepare to die!"
Cheers! I'll drink to that.
Should we bombard them with requests to open the Badlands unit next??
Lol a perfectly placed quote from my favorite movie!
"Keeled"... you keep using that word- I do not think it means what you think it means.
Great to Read this early AM!
Good luck, Robb
"Like a thief in the night"
Thought this was going to be Whitesnake song...8^) (Sorry, couldn't help myself)