Thursday, December 8, 2011

'A hodgepodge of potential recommendations'

That's how Clark Blanchard, spokesman for the California Fish and Game Strategic Vision Project, described the several hundred action ideas outlined in Appendix B of the vision statement referenced below, including the 40 items that have to do with compliance.

In a conversation with me this morning, Blanchard said the ideas for such things as increasing the number of wardens, increasing fines and penalties and setting up a special prosecutor's office were aimed at stopping poaching and overfishing, not farming.

"Those definitely weren't the conversations," he said, referring to the DFG's conflicts with landowners in the Scott and Shasta valleys in Siskiyou County. "It was more fish and wildlife, hook and bullet type crimes."

As for the reference to the Humane Society as a "partner", Blanchard said the organization donated for veterinary care for DFG canines after funding for the care was cut from the budget. He said this was used as an example of a beneficial partnership but was confusing in the document and "misconstrued" by some.

Blanchard emphasized these ideas haven't been debated or discussed, but were put out for public discussion. This vision document is a draft, with a final version to be sent to the governor and legislature next summer.

Curiously, though, I asked Blanchard whether anyone had suggested training for wardens and other DFG officers about property and adjudicated water rights or observing the jurisdiction of local law enforcement entities, and this is what he said.

"I don't think we've gotten that specific," he answered. "This project has really tried to keep it at the 30,000 foot level."

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