New DMU question

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  • DoradoDreaminDoradoDreamin Posts: 1,916 Captain
    You're totally right TRT, it is possible they may be able to use it against us and I guess I'm willing to take that chance. The way I see it now, we don't stand a chance if we stick our heads in the ground and pretend that the world is not changing around us... Something has to change or we will continue down the road we have already been on which is exactly the things binelli is fighting against. I just think he is fighting the wrong way. He and I will have to agree to disagree :USA
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    Dorado.....you are on target....Some people, either through ignorance of the facts or just trying to stir up controversy by supplying false infomation, keep mixing up Federal and State authority and laws...There is even a vast difference between the NPS (National Park Service) and the USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service) despite the fact both agencies are in the DOI (Department of Interior).....and the FWC has very little to say about anything happening on Federal controlled land, either Park or USFWS. At best the FWC can act as a junior partner.

    I have been to the DOI in Washington and met with the USFWS leaders on a couple of occassions recently on another issue. They are aware of the situation with Big Cypress and the Addition Lands but have little say in the matter. I have had numerous conversations with FWC people, includiing Bergeron, on the disasterous situation with the Addition Lands for over 20 years....and there is a lot of sympathy but not much the FWC can do other than "work with" the NPS and press for more access. And, a lot of us really raised hell when the FWC turned over an additional 10,000 acres to the DOI and found out the hard way how the Feds will screw even another agency once they get control and go back on their promises. I don't see the FWC ever really trusting the DOI again....but spilt milk cannot be put back in the bottle.

    Even when we get a better management team at the ENP (Everglades National Park) and the Big Cypress/Addition Lands) as we currently have who actually worked out a tough compromise for access and hunting the other major problem for hunters jumps in......the wacko environmentalists and animal rights groups. They have deep pocket lawyers on staff who simply "sue over and over to stop any hunting or access". Every inch of progress ends up in court...and the hunting access loses more often than not on some technicality or the cases drag on for years and the access remains cut off. (a lawsuit by the wackos keeping duck hunters off a number of National Wildlife Refuges lasted from 2002 to 2010 before a Colorado judge finally threw the case out....8 years of no access on lands purchased to a large degree with duck hunters Federal Duck Stamp funds!)

    The federal laws, especially the Endangered Species Act, can easily be used by lawyers to deny access to Federal land. Fortunately, State laws cannot be as easily mis used by those with agendas to stop hunting and that is why it is important to have as much public land owned and managed by State agencies as possible. The FWC is very good at getting lands open for hunting. Some, including myself, may complain about "quotas and days open" but overall hunting access is a primary goal of the FWC and it shows at every Commission Meeting as the Commissioners discuss the topics involving hunting. With hunting contributing only 5% of the FWC budget we should be thankful we get many times that small percentage in attention and expenditures from the FWC Commissioners and Staff. Hunters are actually given much more deference and access along with the costs to the FWC budget than that 5%.

    Someone on a string complained about the $5 Deer Permit (note, as we all are aware, there are similar permits for ducks, snook, turkeys, etc etc.). That $5 will hopefully bring in close to $1 million and help raise that 5% a bit....and that money goes right into the number one hunted species in Florida, deer, and is not dispersed in a general fund. Those funds will now be available to implement the Ten Year Deer Management Plan with a firm foundation in science and allow a better management of the very different herds in the several habitats in Florida. The note that deer hunting in the Panhandle (with a lot of dog hunting) cannot be managed the same as deer hunting in Big Cypress is 100% correct....and now there will be the funds to make the proper adjustments within the DMUS involved.

    What needs to be understood, is the program being put together by the stakeholder DMTAG and the FWC staff will address the concerns and complaints often mentioned on these forums. There is no intent to make deer hunting "worse" or "reduce" hunter satisfaction, whatever your preferred hunting method....not a one of us on the DMTAG or the FWC staff would spend three years of hard work with that idea or goal. Plainly stated in the foreword of the beginning statement....The goal is to have a "robust resource" and improve "hunter satisfaction".

    And, all along the way, just as with the Zones, and forthcoming with the DMUs, pubic meetings across the state will listen to input from deer hunters before the final "lines are drawn" on any major issue.
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,875 Moderator
    N. Cook wrote: »
    There is no intent to make deer hunting "worse" or "reduce" hunter satisfaction, whatever your preferred hunting method....not a one of us on the DMTAG or the FWC staff would spend three years of hard work with that idea or goal. Plainly stated in the foreword of the beginning statement....The goal is to have a "robust resource" and improve "hunter satisfaction".

    And with that I think the foil hats can come off now.
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,172 Captain
    The bottum line is there going to go threw with it either we can jump on board and try to make it as use full to us as we can or arguee and not have no say at all .
    living life as i like
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,939 Admiral
    It is safe to assume then IF the Everglades Headwaters project moves forward,hunting will be shut down because the whackos will now be able to accomplish that due to its' new designation as a NWR correct?

    Or is this one going to be different this time?

    BTW for those who don't know from Lake Okeechobee to Disney world every bit of sovereign land,state run land along the kissimmee,private ranch wetlands could be taken over by the Gov't. Not sure what to expect from our state as to weather or not they concede once again by giving up the land like they did in Big C,but it could happen.

    Newtons pretty up on this..he can chime in
  • TimE1TimE1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Not trying to start trouble but in the other thread 2 members that are on the DMTAG said they were worried about the direction of the DMU program and that they were not as informed as when the project first started. I would not be willing to blindly support a project that there is no solid information on. It seems to me that no clear info has been givin on any of these threads yet you beat up on Benelli for asking legitimate questions and possible what if senarios. I would hate to see our hunting seasons limited and restricted the way recreational fishing has been the past few years. Like other people have said show us the plan in writing and then you may gain our support but until then it seems like it will be nothing but restrictions and limited opportunities.
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    You who "don't know" are lucky......misinformation as usual...either intentionaly or from ignorance....keeps being posted...So you are better off not knowing false information...

    But, as any number of people who have been involved with the series of meetings between stakeholders (hunting) the FWC and the USFWS can tell you here are the facts.

    The proposed Refuge specifically does not include current public lands. The Refuge will be approximately 100,000 acres of Conservation Easements paid to large ranches to keep their land in ranching or restoration of wetlands and not sell nor develop it. Well more than that acreage has been voluntarily submitted by ranches in the "targeted area" for the Refuge. There will be approximately 50,000 acres of what is now private ranch or farm land purchased by the Feds. The Refuge will not be one large property but a group of properties, each one as large as possible. Properties adjacent to natural lands, usually public lands, even WMAs are preferred. Total cost over ten years will be about $700 million.

    The land in easements will continue to be used by the ranchers as before, including hunting or hunting leases. The purchased 50,000 acres will follow the rule of thumb for NWR with 40% open to public hunting.

    What is different with this Refuge is the USFWS and the FWC with the "not for profit" national supporter of Refuges, the NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ASSOCIATION, acting as a consulting group supporting public access and hunting, have worked out with the stakeholders a MOU putting the FWC as manager of the public access and hunting rules. The Florida USFWS has also reviewed the hunting programs on Refuges in Florida and agrees that the is not appropriate hunting access and several new hunting opportunities will be put into place...already a Youth Hunt on Lake Wales NWR (where prior to this hunt not even bird watchers were allowed on the property!) and we are very close to hunting alligators for the first time on ARM LOXAHATCHEE NWR. Other Refuges will be brought along through the bureaucratic maze over the next several years.

    Yes....the wackos can sue and slow the process, especially on the 20,000 acres of new federal public land. But the general public is not hunting those lands today as they are private...and in time the suits will be resolved. ( they may not happensince most of this land is already ranched and it cannot be "declared" wilderness or crucial to any endangered species' survival).

    So, the end result should be 20,000 acres of new public hunting land managed by the FWC using the WMA template. The stakeholders will continue to meet and carefully watch the progress.....a time period of ten years is expected to get the land and put the Refuge together.
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    time1....read the last sentence of my post on the DMUs just above....Just as with the Zone changes there will be a very comprehensive map and presentation on the DMUs to the public at meetings across the state, with copies out in advance, before the program is completed....and Just as with the Zone process, the local stakeholders could make a difference in the final map...The Zones were adjusted after the public meetings where it was shown to be appropriate.

    You are correct, not everyone on the DMTAG likes the current map...so what is new....we never totally agree on much! That is good....it means every issue gets kicked around with a lot of emotion and give and take....As said before "sausage making"....but the end result is better for it.
  • FLherritageFLherritage Posts: 218 Deckhand
    ok im a little confused. I have a few questions;

    Is dmtag a proposed system for gathering infomation on deer populations?

    Is the goal of said info to implement a tag system similar to other states (Georgia)?

    Is the goal of info change the doe week and/or allow more doe harvest?

    Is the goal to allow more quotas on current hunts? and/or new quotas and new public land?

    Is it state wide, based on zones a-d or possibly 5 zones, or smaller areas?
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,939 Admiral
    it's all perfectly clear to me now....your wrong Newton. Check the Map here http://www.fws.gov/southeast/evergladesheadwaters/pdf/FinalMapFull.pdf
    you will find a bordering section of the project titled conservation partnership area. It contains ALL the public land.It's a done deal that Fl has agreed to bend over on this one.

    I attended 2 meetings in Kissimmee about them aquiring RR land,those people told them to go to heaven..just as Florida should have done

    Just a FYI, the Obama federation suspended it's headwaters program until AFTER the election because it was AFRAID that public perception would be one of Florida being more controlled by the Gov't...therefore,they didn't want to jeopardize loosing Fl as a state.

    So what this tells me is this program will be placing Florida under more Fed control.

    Now to address an issue Newton does not mention, ANY of these so called Big Ranches which have sovereign wetlands on them..like Bronson Ranch,or Maxie Ranch and a host of others can be further restricted if they are placed into federal trusts......I am almost 100% sure that Fl's sovereign wetlands laws are unapplicaple in this case?(if the easements are bought) Not sure.

    But, what really bothers me is why do we need a "Refuge" when we have PUA's which offer everything Newton states above.

    We all know NONE of these BIG RANCHES will be open to hunting just as they are closed to public hunting now. What will we gain by a new "REFUGE" designation? More rules to follow?More studies to be conducted?

    You get my drift here?It surely isn't gonna make it any easier to park your airboat off the river and walk into the woods and hunt ya think?

    But FWC is gonna be in charge...in charge of what? THey're allready in charge of the public areas defined in the headwaters area right? Are they now going to be in charge of the Big Ranches..I don't think so. Anyone else see the double talk here?

    Or are they going to be in charge of enforcing laws along them newly defined"Big Ranch wetland easements"and make sure we stay off those areas? You know the one's in which they tried but failed to re write the sovereign wetland delienations?

    Anyone ever ride along a refuge and wonder how they came up with those boundary signs?

    Someone tell me something good that can come out of this to increase hunter satisfaction?
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,875 Moderator
    ok im a little confused. I have a few questions;

    Is dmtag a proposed system for gathering infomation on deer populations?

    Is the goal of said info to implement a tag system similar to other states (Georgia)?

    Is the goal of info change the doe week and/or allow more doe harvest?

    Is the goal to allow more quotas on current hunts? and/or new quotas and new public land?

    Is it state wide, based on zones a-d or possibly 5 zones, or smaller areas?

    Deer Management Technical Advisory Group:

    A group of "stakeholders" put together to discuss deer hunting in the state and how to improve hunter satisfaction. Several meetings and periods of public input over a few years now has created a list of goals, a 10 year management plan and the first round of proposals. A harvest reporting system was proposed by the group and shot down in the eleventh hour due to wealthy landowners contacting their (bought?) representative and complaining. Any decisions made regarding doe week, quotas, harvest limits, etc, etc would be based on the data acquired and would be a welcomed change. You will likely see no changes unless they can revive or replace the harvest reporting system.


    Benelli,

    I'm not 100% sure whether you're concerned about what the state will do with DMUs, harvest reporting, etc or if you're concerned about the feds? Concern regarding federal interference with our system is very valid and something I'm not completely familiar with especially in the Central/South part of the state. You can't think, however, that FWC is just trying to find an excuse to shut down hunting opportunities.
  • FLherritageFLherritage Posts: 218 Deckhand
    thank you james
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    The goal is to allow more micro management of the deer herd. The DMUs have nothing to do with the Tag and Report system except that system would have better data than the survey system now in place. The DMUs would allow the biologists to have guidance on how does would best be managed in a designated habitat...with confidence the biologists would be less conservative in their recommendations regarding rules versus a less defined area. DMUs fit into the Zones, only two or three DMUs per Zone. They will be large enough to allow statistical analysis. Florida has highly varied habitats in each Zone. Remember, Zones were established to best "catch the rut" and do not take into account habitat. The south Zone has pine flat woods, massive grass/cattail swamps and cypress mixed swamp and islands....We expect either three DMUs separating those three habitats, or at least two DMUS separating "wet" and "dry" habitats. This is an example of how DMUs can be helpful with the proper study and policy for different situations within a Zone.
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    As usual Billi...your information is wrong....The large area within which the Refuge is proposed does include a mix of agencies and private owned land...but there is a color chart that shows the actual private land....note ALL PRIVATE LAND...that is within the much smaller areas being considered for inclusion in the Refuge. The private ranches that will be in the 100,000 acres of conservation easement will simply keep on doing what they do now....hunting, leasing, whatever. NO CHANGE FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

    The fee simple land purchased from willing sellers...all private land....will go into Federal ownership. Those lands, like the land going into easements are not now open to the general public and only those previous owners or those they lease the land to will be effected. At least 20,000 acres of that land that has not been open to the public will become new public hunting areas.

    I hope some of those reading these posts see how odd your comments are with a complete loss of rational thinking. Thankfully, those of us who have been on the forums a while are aware.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,939 Admiral
    Wooo... I ask about 10 relevant questions and our imaginary "voice of the florida hunter" gives that reply? I'm starting to think if your on someone's payroll?

    But for ****stngiggles show me the 20k acres which we will be able to hunt deer,hogs,squirrells,and even your pesky ducks on?
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,939 Admiral
    anyone familiar with the term micromanagement? Is that a good,or bad thing?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,726 Admiral
    That Term Scares Me Bad
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Skunk ApeSkunk Ape Posts: 3,848 Captain
    The DMU close where I live has several thousand acres of land that does not allow hunting and a lot of deer are getting hit by cars. How do you manage these deer units?
  • BuckDaddyBuckDaddy Posts: 644 Officer
    N. Cook wrote: »
    Yes....the wackos can sue and slow the process, especially on the 20,000 acres of new federal public land. But the general public is not hunting those lands today as they are private...and in time the suits will be resolved. ( they may not happensince most of this land is already ranched and it cannot be "declared" wilderness or crucial to any endangered species' survival).

    So, the end result should be 20,000 acres of new public hunting land managed by the FWC using the WMA template. The stakeholders will continue to meet and carefully watch the progress.....a time period of ten years is expected to get the land and put the Refuge together.

    Based on your comments above, Newton, there is an important issue missing in your perspective. And it is that the proposed Kissimmee Headwaters NWR is very much about preserving habitat & providing a wildlife corridor for the expansion of the panther population out of S. FL ! Considering the history of how that state/ federal partnership has worked out in south Florida for hunting in known panther habitat, this does not bode well for opening new or keeping open public land for hunting in the Kissimmee HNWR... I think it goes without saying that the feds have already declared this region critical for "endangered species" survival....
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,002 Captain
    Excellent point Buckdaddy...but my answer was to a specific bunch of misinformation BS and not beyond the "map" and land use....Glad to reply to your very pertinent question....

    The entire environmental community and both the Federal and State agencies, DOI, USFWS, FWC, FDEP,etc. etc. have a "devotion" to conserving and creating a "wildlife corridor" that stretches from Florida Bay up through the Big Cypress and the Glades on to the north connecting with both the Kissimmee system but also west of that (where this Refuge is proposed) through what today remains rural land (although mostly ranches) and the many public land areas connecting with the national forests in central and west Florida and so all the way to the Okee. Swamp on the Florida north border. This "environmentalists' dream" actually is moving forward, slowly but surely.

    Obviously, a wildlife corridor is meant to move wildlife, in this case from south to north for the over population of panthers in S. Florida and to connect the bear habitats into a large continuous landscape for expansion. All other species will have similar positive opportunities to expand into good habitat the entire lenght of the state.

    The question for our stakeholder group is, of course, "How is this corridor going to effect my hunting opportunities and success?"

    The answer in my opinion is mixed. Good because there will be a lot of new public land that will be opened to hunting and great habitat for game and all flora an fauna, either public or in conservation easements the lenght of Florida. Problematic because the spread of the Panther brings the possibily of restrictions tied to the notorious Federal Endangered Species Act. (With the black bear now off the Florida Threatened List the bear should not cause any problems as it would have before).

    My uneducated expectation is that the panther will not be an actual problem for us if the agencies are allowed to use "science" and not emotion in the required protection. This is based on the fact that panthers were on the land for millenia at a certain level, a "sustainable" level, and their prey animals were numerous...and highly hunted by humans. Problems arise with the "one species management" we see in South Florida and the panther becomes overpopulated and the prey begin to disappear.

    If the panther is allowed to achieve sustainable populations up and down the corridor....and not allowed to over populate (that will be the trick...Can you ever imagine panther hunting some day???!), and the wackos do not sue every time a hunting program is established anywhere in the corridor (they will sue, but will simply have to be defeated) then our situation will actually improve. However, anyone can see that this presumption is more hope than "change"...

    So, what do we as hunters...one of many stakeholders and probably the smallest one....do ? Some will choose to "fight" the corridor project....and they will lose. There simply is too much power and money and numbers of stakeholders driving the "corridor train" for the project not to progress, a step at a time but it will move forward. I suggest we "get on the train" and try to influence the process as much as we can. Hunters do have allies in the agencies, especially the FWC. Hunters have a lot in common even with the wackos regarding conservation and restoration of habitat and the acquisition of natural lands for the enjoyment of the public. Politics is what the game is today on these issues and you either are on the field where you can influence the outcome or sitting in the peanut gallery...

    Maybe not the answer you wanted to hear.....but after ten years of exposure to all the players and bruises from a lot of battles, some won, some loss, some a draw, to get new lands open for hunting in Florida...and protect what we have....always starting with the basic tenant of "open it all up now!", the facts are what they are and you always must recognize who "has the hammer"....and that "hammer" is not in our hands! We can have influence and have changes that help us if we work together and pressure the agencies....we can move the ball around as we have done with the stakeholder meetings on the Headwaters NWR that brought in the FWC and resulted in a MOU assigning the FWC to run the public access and hunting on the new Refuge...and put in motion several new hunting opportunities on current Florida NWR's, including the forthcoming alligator hunting on ARMLOXNWR.

    What is important is to "be in the game" or "on the train"....you either work with the other stakeholders and the agencies or you will have your nose on the glass looking in from outside.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,071 Captain
    'Landscape Scale',Conservation Corridor,"working" natural lands;timber,ranching that support wildlife,nature based recreation can only be a plus for hunting.

    Thank you Dennis David,FWCC,certain hunt interests for recent involvement in Everglades Headwaters, resulting in positive outcome for hunt interests with the first "Refuge" proposal in decades.

    Many of the state's hunter conservationists will accept the Panther "what if" over development.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,172 Captain
    WHEN THEY move a bunch of the mountain lions north they will not just stay in that area like it has fences .
    living life as i like
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,285 Admiral
    Newton is correct about everything he has written except 2 points.

    1.) The MOU (memo of understanding) giving FWC management authority over the lands inside the Evergaldes Headwaters NWR is worthless if the federal government decides to stop allowing FWC to manage. There is no recourse for FWC or we as hunters to stop the feds from taking total control of all those lands inside the designated boundaries of the NWR and excluding access to hunters. They can do that at any time and we are powerless them to stop them.

    2.) Once designated as NWR, all lands inside the boundaries of the NWR which are currently state owned will be transferred to a federal land designation. This means that Florida's sovereign submerged lands legislation will no longer apply to these areas. Floridians will have given up their rights and their lands for some empty promises and the deceptive lies of the environmental kook fringe that continues to determine our collective direction when it comes to protecting our native resources.

    There are better ways to protect what we have without giving away our rights or involving the federal control of our state sovereign lands. We need to stand together as sportsmen and lead the fight rather than always following and taking what we're given. If you don't receive Woods N Water, please pick up the September issue. This is precisely what I wrote about in my column this month.
    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.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,071 Captain
    We have lost our "devotion" to state lands conservation protection,public lands hunt legacy,haven't we?

    But we still face periodic Legislative attacks on Sovereign lands,certain enviros to our rescue.

    Thankfully there is continued progress.

    What would we like,a single private person purchasing hundreds of thousands of acres??? Let me know-I'll go to work on it.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,939 Admiral
    FloridaOD wrote: »
    We have lost our "devotion" to state lands conservation protection,public lands hunt legacy,haven't we?

    But we still face periodic Legislative attacks on Sovereign lands,certain enviros to our rescue.

    Thankfully there is continued progress.

    What would we like,a single private person purchasing hundreds of thousands of acres??? Let me know-I'll go to work on it.

    that's a whole lot to digest there...
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