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Thread: A suggestion for ADF&G Sport Fish Division. . .

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up A suggestion for ADF&G Sport Fish Division. . .

    To the personnel of Sport Fish Division:

    As you gentlemen sit in your offices in Juneau, Anchorage, Soldotna, and other Alaska cities, you and I and others know that many of you are keenly aware of what's being posted on these forums. Many of you read these forums, some of you may indeed be posting — it's happened before on other forums if not these.

    My suggestion is that you engage your fellow Alaskans by means of these forums. One of our biggest gripes as citizens is the inaccessibility of our bureaucrats and legislators. What's to be gained by your continued reading of these forums without responding?

    How about it? This is the age of the Internet, a medium through which you can personally engage those for whom you work. The current thread about limited entry is a good example of how such engagement on your part could help allay suspicions between you and us, give you guys (assuming you want it) more input and ideas, and hopefully allow us all to reach a common mind.

    What's to be lost? Come out of the closet and join the conversation.


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    Default

    As this is a good outlet for information, I would have to disagree with the engaging of individuals as far as policy goes, the anonimity of posters and suggestions could make for bad policy (for lack of a better term).

    BTW, "gentlemen" should not be used to address F&G, there are many women who work for F&G as well.

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    Thumbs up Giving the ladies their due. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    As this is a good outlet for information, I would have to disagree with the engaging of individuals as far as policy goes, the anonimity of posters and suggestions could make for bad policy (for lack of a better term).

    BTW, "gentlemen" should not be used to address F&G, there are many women who work for F&G as well.
    Well, that's easily fixed, yukon — the gentlefolk at Sport Fish need respond only to posts that reveal the posters identity (like my real name and location revealed below).

    And, yes, my bad. . . how politically incorrect and insensitive of me. My apologies to all the ladies at ADF&G — I did not intend any slight or offense.

    yukon: think about it. . . Frank's gone, and this is the age of transparency in government. . . Governor Palin would no doubt approve. These forums are a golden opportunity for Sport Fish Division folks to engage their public. Hey, why not?

    John Nelson
    Soldotna


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    John, I am not against the idea, although I don't think this forum is the place to do it. Maybe kick around the idea of ADF&G and legislature having their own forum in this new age of transparency in government. That way in a registration they could control usernames, no anonimity, and would have addresses and possibly phone numbers so one's posts would could be taken as their "testimony" on particular issues.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Probably Not

    Probably not going to happen. When I became an instructor I had to sign an agreement stating that I would not make statements against ADG&G or its policies. The employees could get into trouble for making statements against policy and such.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Smile Sport Fish can speak for themselves. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    John, I am not against the idea, although I don't think this forum is the place to do it. Maybe kick around the idea of ADF&G and legislature having their own forum in this new age of transparency in government. That way in a registration they could control usernames, no anonimity, and would have addresses and possibly phone numbers so one's posts would could be taken as their "testimony" on particular issues.

    Well, yukon, I guess a special Sport Fish Forum as a place where they could personally engage in open and public discussion those for whom they work would be okay, but it seems rather superfluous when these forums already exist. Gosh, think how many members these forums have — probably thousands who could benefit by a more transparent connection with and access to policy makers.

    I don't think the privacy thingy is any big deal really. Anyone wanting to ask a question of or make a comment to the folks at Sport Fish, especially about policy and whether here or wherever, should have no qualms at all about revealing who they are, their address, and their phone number. Things done in the dark always carry the potential to make folks wonder about hidden agendas and special interests.

    Nuff said. . . let's wait and see if the guys and gals at Sport Fish Division will speak for themselves. . . okay? Many of them are already reading these posts. . . the next step is simply to reply.

    John Nelson
    Soldotna (and I'm in the phone book)


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    John, the problem with the internet, is how do I really know you are John Nelson of Soldotna? (just for an example)
    In the end we do have a pretty open ADF&G we has citizens just have to take the time and make the effort to call, e-mail and stop by, they have always been more than open and friendly when I have done any one of those things.

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    Cool Ducking for cover. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Probably not going to happen. When I became an instructor I had to sign an agreement stating that I would not make statements against ADG&G or its policies. The employees could get into trouble for making statements against policy and such.
    Valid point, Dave. . . gag rules are part of the problem, a big part.

    Such a concern could be easily addressed though by making one employee the Internet liaison or similar, responsible for passing on the party line. If memory serves, Sport Fish hired a person specifically to help design a "Strategic Plan." Why not a person to handle public discourse?

    But not all questions require such official monitoring and oversight. For instance, a day or two ago I e-mailed Mr. Vania, requesting the names of the "stakeholders" involved in the limited-entry-permit-for-businesses scheme. That's pretty straightforward, but I'm still waiting to learn whether all the "stakeholders" were businesses with pretty obvious skin in the game or whether other "stakeholders" in the publicly-owned resource were consulted as well.

    If Sport Fish is unwilling or unable to engage the public via these forums, I guess the only alternative is for individuals to engage them and post their results.

    I dunno . . . seems like a harmless move toward transparency to me. Am I missing something? The whole privacy, don't -know-who-you-are complaint is specious. If the question or comment is valid, what difference does it make who posted it?


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    Default

    I have the phone number of the susitna drainage biologist if you want it, and they all seem to respond to my email even though I'm sure they are really busy
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Unification and political clout...

    Please read my response to the current posting by our webmaster entitled "Halibut Limit Cut to One Fish".

    It was made to Back Country Robb, and sums up exactly what I feel is needed to benefit sportfishermen in AK.

    Forums are great for data and opinions, but I have yet to see any measurement of how they have any capability to effect change...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Red face Lack of transparency is the problem. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor View Post
    The reason why is quite simple. Big business uses lobbying and pays for a lobbiest(s) in support of legislation to effect change.

    If sportsfishermen are unorganized and have not formed a state-wide association with membership, charter, and funds, they have no voice in influencing the legislative table in their behalf as a political group.
    AKA: Doesn't Alaska Outdoor Council fit your prescription?

    Forums serve a useful purpose in that they are mediums of education. The general public doesn't have a problem speaking up if and when they understand the issues. Moreover, I don't think the problem is so much lobbyists as much as it is that policy is often decided behind closed doors.

    Governor Palin has, I think, defined the problem — a lack of transparency in government both legislatively and bureaucratically.



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    Default Clout...

    A generalized outdoor council is not a proactive sportsfisherman's association.

    A public forum on an Internet site is not a proactive sportsfisherman's association.

    I brought this up before, and no one picked up on it. Now it looks like some suffering may be in store for the AK angler.

    Consider it a wake-up call.

    There are over a quarter of a milliion sportfishing anglers in this state, and they increase in numbers each and every year. Once they get organized, they'll be able to lobby in their behalf, and they will be heard, and they will effect change.

    Until they become organized, it will never happen. This, I do believe...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Cool Not organized?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor View Post
    A generalized outdoor council is not a proactive sportsfisherman's association.

    Ranked by the University of Alaska as one of the most influential advocacy organizations in Alaska.
    Reference: Alaska Legislative Symposium 2001


    Welcome
    The Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC) is dedicated to the preservation of outdoor pursuits in Alaska - hunting, fishing, trapping, firearms ownership, and public access - and conservation of the habitats upon which they depend.

    We are a association of clubs and individual members. Together with our sister organizations – the Alaska Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund, the Alaska Trust Fund, and the Hunter Heritage Foundation of Alaska - we work through advocacy, education and research to promote responsible outdoor recreation, conserve our natural resources, and protect Alaskans’ rights to enjoy our great outdoors.

    http://www.alaskaoutdoorcouncil.org/



    Lack of organization is not the problem!




  14. #14

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    In my experience the lack of transparency in government starts at the Juneau city limits, then trails back to the communities via the LIO's. ADF&G staff have always been very responsive to my phone calls and emails, and once they know you aren't going to drag them out onto the political firing line, quite frank and open.

    Legislators and the political machine and cash cow special interests they represent want anything but transparency. How the heck are they going to earn a living if folks can see what they're really up to?

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    Default question for Marcus

    Relative to your idea of sport or commerecial fisheries biologist participating in a formal manner on this forum I have a few questions.

    There are probably over 100 area biologist in the State that have expertize in their area. No one person in the state has that knowledge. Therefore, with a Statewide forum each area biologist would have to monitor the forum to see if a subject that impacts their area comes up. Is this a good use of state biologist time or should they be working on resource protection?

    Sport Fish and Commercial Fisheries leadership can have these biologist participate in an official way - it just takes a directive from the headquarters staff. They do it for adviosry boards and other organizations. However, there are more than one forum - I would expect that all the forums would want them to participate - this adds time and energy to the effort for each biologist - so my question is who gets to select which forum the biologist participate on?

    Finally, in my experience it is better to have individual biologists comment as individuals - they are not limited by policy or political issues. However, that can get confusing if they are known. Some biologists have a had time separating policy from personal and therefore a mixed message could come out.

    Overall, I am for transparency in the process and I encourage any biologist to participate - one problem is that when things are presented on a forum they need to be checked out - people say they have all types of degrees and qualifications when in fact they do not - as a person working in the field I tend to not let the degree speak but the data -however a number of people accept statements because a biologist says something it must be right - this is not true as I have seen comments on forums that are coming from people who have degrees in biology but have not practiced in the field or published.

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    Thumbs up Point well taken. . .

    You're right, of course, Nerka. . . there's no way individual biologists from every area of the state should want or need to pay attention to these or any forums. Nor was that the thrust of my suggestion, which was not specific enough.

    I guess what I'm after is dialog with the Department, especially Sport Fish Division, at the policy level and in a public format.

    For instance, consider SF's limited-entry-for-businesses idea. To my mind, for SF to consult privately with the very entities it proposes to somehow regulate is exactly what Dick Cheney did when he met privately with energy companies to discuss national energy policy. Now there may be a perfectly good reason SF took that route, but questions do arise.

    Transparent, public dialog would serve to answer those kind of questions.


    "Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." — Ralph Waldo Emerson


  17. #17

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    they dont have time to listen to us cry whine or bicker, atleast my buddy and his staff doesnt.

    The other half of trying to ohld a conversation like that Marcus would be the fact is they'd become an outlit for disgruntled people. I'm sure they are reading no question, and I'm sure they're pulling the better thoughts and idears and atleast mention them somewhere.

    Lastly you asked
    What's to be gained by your continued reading of these forums without responding?

    They get to keep their jobs! Speaking out and they're gone is the attitdue I'm getting from the inside.

    Dont get me wrong I'd really love to see it, however it aint going to happen any time soon!!!! Especially during the work day LOL!

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    No wonder not much has happend with this issue for the past couple decades. The process is barely started and they are already being challenged.

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    Default Being challenged is good- uncomfortable yes

    Yukon - one thing I learned in my professional life is that being challenged is a good thing - no matter how wacky it may seem or uncomfortable.

    I think what Marcus is asking for is something along this line - although I do not speak for Marcus this is what I understand would be a different route.

    1. ADF&G lets the public know they are considering guide limitations for the sport fishing guide industry.

    2. They ask the public for suggestions on how to do this - a forum like this would serve that purpose as Marcus has suggested - along with other public notice avenues.

    3. The comments and ideas are put together by staff in a format that is understandable and distributed back to the public.

    4. Staff forms a technical review group to evaluate the suggested options for legal consideratons, pro's and con's from a biological and social viewpoint - this is done by experts in the field and may include members of the general public who have the knowledge and wisdom to look out for the public good.

    5. A final package with all comments from the technical group is put out for individual public comment - this is where self interest can have a voice.

    6. ADF&G and other agencies involved like DNR submit a legislative packet for statue writing for the prefered option and the rationale with that option and a rationale why others were rejected.

    7 The legislature does their normal process which includes more public comment before action by the legislature.

    I believe ADF&G did step 1 and then jumped to step 4 in an alternate manner - they used the user group to define the parameters and provided little to the public for what is going on. This in my experience always leads to conflict as the self interest come out first and the rationale for those interest try to use biological or social reasons with limited technical review to support those reasons.

    Marcus is asking for the leadership to do the above steps or some modification of them and let people know what the steps are, the timelines for decisions, when input will be required, when deviations from the process are made and for what reason, and other issue that causes public concerns about process.

    I think I am on the right track but will let Marcus respond.

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    Thumbs up Principled procedure. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I think I am on the right track but will let Marcus respond.
    Sounds very good to me, Nerka—transparent, open, and public. Alaska's citizens would be well-served by such principled procedure.

    Thanks. . . well said.



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