We’ve been closely following the corruption scandal that has been plaguing
the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Exposed
by insiders, we discover that the betrayal of public trust and misuse
of public funds
is truly shocking. Yet it pales in comparison to the fraud perpetrated
on the public by the entire game division. Unfortunately, the scandalous
of the VDGIF will have to be exposed by outsiders.
Sadly, if insiders had not protested the use of state money for private
hunts, this would never have come to the fore, for these agencies
operate with no outside supervision. How we wish that someone “inside” would
speak against managing wildlife for hunting and hunters but it would
change of heart.
Whether this good ole boy or that good ole boy (forgive me Ms. Crumley)
takes the helm, there is little hope for positive wildlife management until
there are no more good ole boys running the show.
If you think that a rip-off of thousands of dollars is bad, consider
that the VDGIF has been ripping off the public to the tune of millions
a year for close to 50 years. Unbelievably, Virginia’s General Fund
is forced to support this agency that operates on behalf of a small
group: the hunters.
Game management divisions support themselves with firearms money, hunting
permit sales, and our taxes from the General Fund. While they claim
to serve the “public,” all of their public relations, advertising, laws
and regulations are designed to bring more money to their coffers via
the abuse of wildlife
and the environment.
I’ve personally been in a meeting with wildlife managers from up and down
the Eastern Seaboard who asked that everyone take a break from the meeting
to call their Congressional reps to ensure that a federal bill on the floor
for a vote didn’t pass. That particular bill would have given protection
to fish spawning areas by preventing disruptive activity from taking
place during certain times of the year. The waterfowl managers wanted
to be able
to create impoundments to increase waterfowl populations for hunting.
While mandated to “protect” fish and wildlife for the public, anyone in
the know will tell you that they protect hunting and trapping (and fishing)
for consumptive users. We need a clean sweep of these good ole boys for
the sake of our wildlife, our wildlife viewing, our ability to be safe from
harm, and our tax dollars being spent on essential services. Let’s deal
with the real fraud of wildlife management.
Whether the next group coming in will pay for their own African Safari
hunts or not begs the issue of wildlife management for hunting. We
believe that wildlife management and managers who cling to the old
ideas of “whack ‘em
and stack ‘em” are no longer affordable from any perspective. Hunting
license sales are diminishing, the hunter population is dropping,
and the environment
is becoming more threatened, scarcer, and degraded.
If we managed for the 98% of the public - for wildlife watching - it would
be a quadruple win: the wildlife would win, the 98% of the public would
win, the economy would win, and the environment would win.
To learn more, please go to
New Paltz, NY 12561