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New FWC commissioner...

binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
Animal rights group asks Rick Scott to appoint a birdwatcher to the FWC board
by Willie Howard

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission board sets policy affecting those of us who like to venture into Florida’s great outdoors, whether it’s diving for lobster, deer hunting or searching the wetlands with a spotting scope for a good view of a roseate spoonbill.

Rodney Barreto, the longtime FWC chairman, is stepping down. His term expires Monday.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office has not indicated when the governor will appoint Barreto’s replacement. Presumably, the appointment will be made before the FWC’s next meeting, set for Sept. 7-9 in Naples.

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida has made this recommendation to Scott: Appoint a birdwatcher instead of a hunter.

ARFF claims wildlife viewing has a greater economic impact in Florida than hunting and argues that non-consumptive outdoor recreation is as valuable to the state’s economy as saltwater fishing.

“As hunting continues to decline in Florida, the FWC must change its focus and serve the majority of the Floridians who do not need to kill animals to enjoy the outdoors,” ARFF said in a press release.

“Nature-based ecotourism is increasingly recognized as a key to boosting local economies in Florida,” ARFF President Nanci Alexander writes in a July 25 letter to Scott. “The appointment of a birder would add an important perspective to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

I won’t argue that wildlife viewing is not important. But ARFF presumes that commissioners who hunt and fish are not interested in non-consumptive outdoor recreation, such as bird watching and hiking. They most probably are.

On the other hand, I have no problem with a birdwatcher or a hiker. People I have met from chapters of Florida Audubon and the Florida Trail Associaton have been well-educated folks who care about the quality of Florida’s environment.

Scott should appoint someone who knows a lot about the state’s fish and wildlife — and the habitat that supports them. The new FWC commissioner should be someone who is smart, well-informed, caring and patient enough to wade through stacks of reports and hours of public testimony.

Whether the new commissioner hunts, fishes, watches birds, hikes or does all of the above really shouldn’t matter.

Replies

  • Bass2bucksBass2bucks Posts: 654 Officer
    I say we request Ted Nugent as the new commissioner
  • On ContingencyOn Contingency Posts: 77 Deckhand
    There are others in the mix.:nono
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,290 Admiral
    My support is behind the current president of the Everglades Coordinating Council, Jorge Gutierrez. Besides myself, he's one of the few I trust to do the job and stand up for public land hunters. Jorge hunts public land and he knows the problems we face. Jorge is a past director of UWF and has represented Florida's sportsmen in Washington DC, as well as at the state level.

    The other hunter in the mix from N. Florida spends most of his time hunting private land in AL... and he posted this on his website as a qualification!

    For my money and peace of mind, I'll stick with the guy who I know is one of us.
    Bushnell, Primos and Final Approach Pro Staff. Proud member of the Fab Five, Big Leaugers and Bobble Head 4.

    I had you pissed off at hello.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
    Yup, gotta go with a proven guy,and Jorge is the one.

    Best of luck........



    Hey Chuck,where's the follow up report?Enquiring minds want to know.
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,290 Admiral
    I haven't had the energy to write it yet... suffice to say it was exactly as epxected on the part of the anti hunters. They're nothing if not predicatable.

    I think hunters will get a fair shake from the district and its governing board. I'll elaborate in private later.
    Bushnell, Primos and Final Approach Pro Staff. Proud member of the Fab Five, Big Leaugers and Bobble Head 4.

    I had you pissed off at hello.
  • On ContingencyOn Contingency Posts: 77 Deckhand
    Thanks Chuck. Let me know if you need anything from me on that thing from yesterday over in your neck of the woods.
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 7,870 Admiral
    Chuck:

    Have though a number of times about what you said concerning a "regular hunter" like yourself ( even though "regular" considering the time you put in working the issues does not do justice ) getting on the commission. Might be a hopeless effort but still seems like one worth trying.
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,290 Admiral
    We need a person who truly understands what public land hunters and recreational fishermen go through on a daily basis. Someone who has to wait in line at a gate to hunt, to wait in line at a boat ramp, who fishes to bring home fish and not just play flats master in a matching Columbia outfit and a tower skiff. Jorge is one of those guys... and he has the resume to be a real contender. He also owns an airboat and duck hunts, gator hunts, and even turkey hunts. (He's also a heck of a cook - gotta trust a fat hunter!) If any of you is serious about supporting a regular Joe, I urge you to send a letter to Gov. Scott asking him to choose Jorge as the next FWC Commissioner replacing Rodney.
    Bushnell, Primos and Final Approach Pro Staff. Proud member of the Fab Five, Big Leaugers and Bobble Head 4.

    I had you pissed off at hello.
  • ShineShine Posts: 835 Officer
    I just cannot imagine Rick Scott appointing a “bird watcher.”

    Interesting the press release mentions the decline in hunters as a reason to change focus.
  • On ContingencyOn Contingency Posts: 77 Deckhand
    Actually recent studies show license sales up 3.5% nationally.
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,290 Admiral
    Yup, and duck and turkey hunter numbers have more than doubled since 1991 while deer hunter numbers have remained consistent. Only small game hunters, rabbit hunters and upland bird hunter numbers have decreased. The majority of hunting has either increased or remained stationary. In government speak, when a coordinating demographic does not increase at the same rate as the population, they consider that a decline. That is why we keep getting told hunter numbers are declining.
    Bushnell, Primos and Final Approach Pro Staff. Proud member of the Fab Five, Big Leaugers and Bobble Head 4.

    I had you pissed off at hello.
  • huntsfloridahuntsflorida Posts: 378 Deckhand
    My support is behind Liesa Priddy. Sorry huntmaster she is not what you would consider a "regular Joe".
    Capt. Mark Clemons
    Everglades Adventures Inc.
    Alligators Inc.
    Alligators International LLC.
    www.huntsflorida.com
    South Florida's Finest Hunting Safari's for over 25 years for:
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    Alligator Processing in State Certified and Inspected Facility.
    Follow our clients results on Facebook:
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  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
    can't find her Bio?
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