There needs to be a special page of this important topic.

Go to it.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

46 Responses to Page for discussing Wildlife Watchers

  1. avatar Cindy Knight says:

    I am very interested in this idea and would love to explore it further. Loud, angry and uninformed voices are overwhelming the conversation about wolves and other wildlife.

  2. Would somebody please mail me the contact for Wildlifewatchers of Wyoming. When they are ready to go I´d like to support, join, cooperate, whatever is appropriate (if you can accept germans :-)) . On the other hand, when watching the wildlife conservation scene, at least here in Europe, I think there are too many organisations wasting valuable personal and financial resources, with the really big organisations becoming often too inflexible. Give you an example: Here in Germany besides, the big WWF and the two other large organisations, we have a total of four organisations dedicated to wolf protection in Germany and Europe. Each of course collecting membership fees and donations from the about 100 members each. But: Do you really need four independent web sites, with one worse than the other? Do you really need four independet bi-monthly wolf magazines? Do you need four independent organisational structures? On the other hand it always impresses me that Defenders can raise many thousand voices with their online petitions. With our tiny organisations here in Germany you can only rise a handfull of letters. Nevertheless, I think “Wildlifewatchers” are underrepresented and all my best wishes for “Wildlifewatchers of Wyoming”

  3. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Ralph, thank you ever so much for setting up this page.

    At this point, I’m the contact for Wildlife Watchers of (name your state).

    Email me here: wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net

    Please be aware that all we presently have is a concept, but there could be some great news in the near future. Here’s the concept:

    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

    Please be aware the Wildlife Watchers is not an anti-hunting or anti-angling concept.

    jerry b is right, we should hold a wildlife conference in Chico Hot Springs – perhaps in February or March – and invite individuals representing themselves like Ralph Maughan, Jon Marvel, Robert Hoskins, Gloria Flores, Ted Turner and Carole King to present. We could be a group of, for and by the people – US – and *perhaps* not even invite any conservation organizations. We could spent time in Lamar Valley, watching wolves. We could organize Wildlife Watchers of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming or name your state.

    Now, onto my personal opinions: I think a superior media move would be, instead of paying for expensive print media, to buy digital video cams for individuals across our states to record meetings (county, state, federal), etc. and upload to youtube and other sites for the world to see. A website could categorize the videos and direct people to whatever area they’re interested in.

    Unless I’m missing it, I’m not seeing any really new thinking or revolutionary, butt-kicking actions from the major conservation groups save Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign. I maintain that our issues will be resolved only in the courtroom and the voting booth.

    And if that’s the reality, we need some young politicians (and deep pockets to fund them) that can mobilize the younger crowd to vote them into office.

    We need some young attorneys (and deep pockets to fund them) from our respective states that are willing to think in creative new ways and especially to litigate in creative new ways.

    I believe Robert Hoskins is 100% on target – passion, combined with knowledge, is a powerful tool. I believe JB is 100% off target – for lots of reasons.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, this tree-hugger (yes, I actually hug trees) has got to go try and kill a nice big fat cow (ELK – where’s your mind?) in order to put some organic meat on the table.

    Until next time…

  4. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Peter, please consider starting a Wildlife Watchers of Germany…!

    Feel free to share the concept, no matter where you are.

  5. Hi Mack, to be honest, I´m already thinking about it. Let´s stay in touch!

  6. avatar Chuck says:

    Strength in numbers

  7. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Mack,

    I just happen to know a young attorney who ran the Colorado Environmental Coalition here in Craig. He went into private practice last February. I don’t know about his workload, or even if he would be interested. But I will contact him and see if he would consider helping. I know he still has the fire in his gut

    Rick

  8. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Mack I really like you idea of a memebership requiring a picture or story and I was thinking that when you are accepting members that we could also instigate a phone tree kind of sign up. . In other words I would sign up and then pass the information and goals onto all (and there are quite a few) other people I know who watch widlife. Since I am a wildlife artist, writer, and tracker I will be coming in contact with hundreds of them every year. Linda

  9. avatar Chuck says:

    Wildlife watchers of Idaho, that has a good ring to it.

  10. avatar Wolfy says:

    Ralph,
    I’m sorry; was my post too offensive or off topic? I’ll stop posting here if you want me to. Just say the word.

  11. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    What a great Thanksgiving Day…! Everyone’s excited about Wildlife Watchers…!

    Cindy Knight wrote “Loud, angry and uninformed voices are overwhelming the conversation about wolves and other wildlife.” Cindy, you’re so right; it’s time we raised our informed voices and bring about changes in the way OUR wildlife is managed.

    Peter Kiermeir of Germany might start a Wildlife Watchers in Germany. If we can help in any way, Peter, please let us know…!

    Rick Hammel knows an attorney with FIRE IN HIS GUT; Rick’s going to approach him to see if he’ll help. Thank you, Rick…!

    Linda Hunter has a GREAT IDEA of a phone-tree membership drive. Linda, you’re so right – each of us can relay info about Wildlife Watchers to people we know AND ask them to relay info to people THEY know. Excellent…! Thank you Linda…!

    Chuck wrote: “Wildlife Watchers of Idaho, that has a good ring to it.” HA…! That DOES sound good, doesn’t it, Chuck…!

    Over in the page “So what about Idaho wolves, anyway?” Chuck wrote: “I would think that some enterprising Idahoans would jump on the wildlife watching aspect of the wolves.”

    Which made me think: 1) livestock producers are in business; 2) the wildlife watching guide business IS a business; 3) the wildlife watching guide business could EXPLODE in Greater Yellowstone, given the opportunity; 4) because, on behalf of livestock producers, wolves are being killed by proxy, i.e., Wildlife Services and later, will be killed by the states themselves by allowing hunting, therefore, the wildlife watching guide businesses are being or could be FINANCIALLY HARMED. There’s a potential lawsuit here, somehow, some way…

    And Ralph, thank you for managing this great blog…!

    Mack P. Bray
    Happy trails to you…

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  12. avatar Chuck says:

    I am all for it, I would do what ever I could. I am a photographer, could take pictures for a website, I have limited knowledge of html, I have my own website…..but most important I have a great love for these animals and would do what ever I could to see them thive and help others to enjoy them. The times I have been in yellowstone and had my spotting scope set up and would let others who did not have spotting scopes look at the wolves or grizzly bears, it was a treat, especially the kids.

  13. avatar Denise Johnson says:

    Great Stuff folks,
    The wolf conference is at Chico next year I think??? What about a booth?
    I think the Wild Bird Center might even be interested in helping put out the word… I have a Nature Center as well down in the lower valley.
    I’d make things to raffle to help cover costs of incorporation, or cover set-up costs.
    All right Peter!!! I lived in Germany for several years and have some contacts in the Rhineland Phaltz region.
    This is something to be Thankful for on this day of Thanksgiving. Blessings to all….especially our man RALPH!

  14. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Peter Kiermeir, here on Ralph’s blog I found a link to a German blog about wolves – you may already be familiar with it but if not:

    http://yellowstone-wolf.blogspot.com/

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  15. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    I think this is a great idea. I would recommend that the philosophical basis of this idea be rooted in the public trust, which is an element of state sovereignty, with the requirement that the state treat public resources as a trust, the beneficiaries of which are the people of the state.

    Currently, whether in Wyoming or other states, the various game & fish departments are in serious violation of their public trust duties in many ways, all of which have been discussed in one way or another on this and other blogs.

    I will add that it has become quite clear to me that the primary constituent of the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission has become landowners/livestock producers, superceding hunters and anglers. In the old days, when conflicts with livestock producers arose, G&F would directly turn to hunters and anglers for support. This no longer happens. The story of how this happened is long and involved, and I don’t have time to go into it here.

  16. Seems I´m compelled to go ahead somehow :-))Thus I´ll have to do at a slow pace for the time being, having not yet sufficiently recovered from a cardiac infarction this summer. Nevertheless, to get things started, I´ll have to decide about the appropriate organisational form from a practical and a legal point of view. A registered society being a possibility but this makes things extremely bureaucratic, complicated and formalistic – Hey, after all we are Germans :-)) The “mission statement” needs to be fine tuned and adapted to cover our circumstances and environment here, etc. etc. Mack, yes, I am aware of this blog, that is managed by an excellent female wolf authority here in Germany, with a strong relationship to Yellowstone. But this blog – and all of the other´s I know – very well illustrate the problems over here: You´ll see, there is virtually no activity at all on these blogs. Nothing like the often heated and controversial but always intelligent and civilianized discussions to be found on Ralph´s blog combined with this enormous input of knowledge. And – in my opinion always a severe disadvantage – the limitation to a single (in this case German) language. We have many language barriers here in narrow Europe. Not many Germans are able to fluently read a website – not yet even speaking about a scientific document of book – in French or Spanish and not many French or Spanish people are able to take on the challenge with German. Let´s see how things will develop….

  17. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Peter

    I’m very sorry about your heart attack; this is the first I’ve heard of it. Take care of yourself.

    Regarding the possibilities of European influence over wildlife policy in North America, probably the greatest influence will come through economics. I know that many tourist-based businesses in the Rocky Mountains, both in the US and Canada, market themselves heavily in Europe, especially in Germany and France. There’s a dude ranch here in the Dubois, Wyoming area that has more French people here than from anywhere else. The owners of this ranch, who run cattle, primarily for dudes to chase around on horseback, are not particularly tolerant of wolves.

    If the truth about how wildlife (wolves, bears, bison, elk) are (mis)managed here could be targeted to potential European tourists, perhaps these paying customers could influence these various businesses to adopt more enlightened attitudes–or else. We might call this the “soft” boycott approach.

    Robert

  18. avatar JB says:

    This is a great idea! As I think I mentioned before, I met with a couple of folks from the DNR recently who are trying to figure out how to get money out of wildlife watchers. They understand that this would mean paying attention to a different constituency, but I think they see the writing on the wall–hunting is on the decline and they need to fund programs.

    So, I’d like to turn the question around and ask you all, what could the State DNRs provide (as a service) that would get you to pay $10-$20 for a wildlife watching “tag”?

    I was tossing around this question and came up with an idea: what if the DNRs were to host websites with information geared at wildlife watchers, along with a forum for discussing good locations and posting photos. They might even be able to develop a tool for posting photos on specific locations (these are currently available through Google and Flickr). This is just one idea, I’m very interested in what others think, and I’m sure folks from the State agencies will be interested as well.

    JB

    P.S. – I also like the idea of a conference. I know a lot of photographers that would attend, especially if you were able to organize some guided tours.

  19. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Robert, the philosophical basis of Wildlife Watchers of (name your state) is *FIRMLY* rooted in the public trust doctrine.

    (from http://westvirginia.sierraclub.org/newsletter/archives/2005/07/a_001.html)

    The Supreme Court stated (from Horner, 2000): Whilst the fundamental principles upon which the common property in game rests have undergone no change, the development of free institutions has led to the recognition of the fact that the power or control lodged in the State, resulting from the common ownership, is to be exercised, like all other powers of government, as a trust for the benefit of all people, and not as a prerogative for the advantage of government, as distinct from the people, or for the benefit of private individuals as distinguished from the public.

    The Public Trust Doctrine rests on these three principles (from Horner, 2001):

    · Wildlife can be owned by no individual but is held by the state in trust for all the people

    · As trustee, the state has no power to delegate its trust duties and no freedom to transfer trust ownership or management of assets to private concerns

    · The state has the affirmative duty to fulfill trust responsibilities – i.e. it cannot sit by idly while trust resources are depleted or wasted.

    Literature Cited:

    Horner, S.M. 2000. Embryo, not fossil: Breathing life into the Public Trust in Wildlife. Land and Water Law Review. Univ. of Wyoming, Vol. XXXV, No. 1, pp. 23-75.

    Horner, S.M. 2001. A legal perspective on the Public Trust in Wildlife Management – Its not just a good idea. 63rd Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, Iowa. 13 pp.

    I maintain that in Wyoming, we essentially have a circular reference situation whereas livestock producers are unfairly represented at the state level and the state, through the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has ESSENTIALLY TRANSFERRED MANAGEMENT OF WILDLIFE TO PRIVATE CONCERNS – the livestock producers themselves.

    Damn, I wish I had a law degree…!

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  20. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Mack

    I would not worry about having a law degree to understand or further the role of the public trust in conservation. As a non-lawyer myself, I have found little interest among most conservation oriented lawyers for the public trust–they prefer statutory law rather than the common law, and the public trust in Anglo-American jurisprudence is common law, or judge-made law. The public trust has developed in an evolutionary manner over time, dating actually back to Roman times, and environmental lawyers seem to want things written in stone for all time, as it were. Susan Horner’s work, which you refer to above, is an exception.

    FYI, Horner’s article Embryo, Not Fossil was commissioned by Jim Posewitz of Orion–The Hunters Institute, located in Bozeman. The public trust is now being championed primarily by philosophically oriented hunters such as Posewitz, who has written extensively on hunting and conservation ethics.

    I believe that there is great potential for the public trust in many of our conservation struggles. However, adopting it will require a change in our legal/political orientation and thinking.

    In 1998, I wrote and found a sponsor for a public trust bill introduced into the Wyoming legislature. The purpose of the bill was not to create a public trust doctrine in Wyoming law, but to give the already existing public trust responsibility of the State of Wyoming a little boost, since the state was (and still is) clearly negligent in meeting its public trust duties. The bill grew out of a serious attempt by the livestock industry dominated Wyoming GF Commission to privatize hunting licenses to benefit landowners and outfitters. The bill failed, of course, since the Stockgrowers and the Outfitters both killed it once it reached the floor of the Senate. Nevertheless, I did manage to get it out of committee, which was a small victory.

    On another computer, I have a historical essay on wildlife law and the public trust that I published in Wyoming Wildlife in 1999. I’ll try to send you a copy of it.

    Robert

  21. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Robert, what do you think about the possibilities of a class action suit against the state of Wyoming, charging the state with violating the public trust?

    Yes, please send me your essay.

    JB, I’m glad you like the concept of Wildlife Watchers of (name your state).

    However this movement materializes, I will insist that membership ALWAYS BE FREE. Otherwise, the necessary constituency will never be developed – trust me on this one. Send in a photo, poem, story, or whatever about wildlife, and you’re a member.

    I think a wildlife watching “tag” or “stamp” would have to be voluntary because enforcement would be impossible. But there could be no limit on the amount one sent in and if the funds were divided and earmarked for specific areas/projects, some individuals interested in a specific area/project might contribute substantial monies which would offset those that contributed nothing or smaller amounts.

    I like your idea of state wildlife agencies hosting websites with information geared at wildlife watchers, along with a forum for discussing good locations and posting photos. Perhaps (privately funded?) cash awards could go to the best photos, stories, poems, etc. Alternatively, this could be a business endeavor.

    There’s a particular gentleman on this blog that might take the point position on organizing the conference, tentatively to be held in February or March in Chico Hot Springs (Montana). You know who you are, so speak up…! Maybe Ralph will start a page dedicated to the conference. And yes, we’d head to Lamar Valley to spot wolves.

    Peter Kiermeir, you know what they say: “An aspirin a day keeps the heart attacks away.” But check with your doctor first. I’ve been taking an aspirin a day for years and I work the ticker pretty hard year-round. Steven Wright: “I intend to live forever – so far, so good..”

    Peter, as always, if we can do *anything* to help you get a Wildlife Watchers group started in Germany, please let us know.

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  22. avatar JB says:

    Mack, what you’re referring to is called “organizational capture.” An agency can be considered “captured” when, “one…group has amassed enough power over an agency to control that agency and ensure that all decisions advance the group’s best interests” (Wondolleck 1988:5). Generally, for an agency to be considered captured it must display the following characteristics:
    1. Homogeneous client group(s);
    2. Employee resistance to reach out to new client groups in the face of opposition from existing clients; and
    3. Abandonment of agency mission.
    I can’t speak to whether Wyoming meets these criteria; perhaps others can?

  23. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Mack

    I sent the essay to you and Ralph

    Having researched this very carefully, I have concluded that the likelihood of succeeding with a public trust lawsuit in Wyoming, given the stranglehold that the livestock and other oligarchies maintain over state government, depends upon a clear and unmistakable example of state negligence of its public trust duty to benefit a special interest group–such as an epidemic of Chronic Wasting Disease on the elk feedgrounds, which are maintained upon demand of the livestock industry.

    That is, a public trust lawsuit will not get the attention of the courts in Wyoming until a major natural resource disaster occurs. That is what I am preparing for.

    It will not be difficult to prove “organizational capture” of Wyoming G&F Commission by the livestock industry. No one’s ever tried to hide it, and controlling G&F is an open policy of the Stockgrowers. That’s the nature of Wyoming’s 19th century style oligarchic government–corruption worn on their sleeves. All that counts is maintaining control, and so what if everyone knows about it? Power means that no one can do anything about it, and through intimidation and retaliation, the Stockgrowers insures that anyone who tries to do anything about it is slapped down hard, especially biologists in the G&F Department.

    That’s why I am so insistent upon conservationists seeing this as a power struggle and working to develop an independent power base to challenge the existing oligarchy. We won’t get there by going along to get along.

    Robert

  24. avatar elkhunter says:

    I know someone in UT put together a website for everything from hunting and fishing to hiking and photography. It is really popular. If you google Utah Wildlife Network it should pull it up.
    Elkhunter

  25. avatar JB says:

    Thanks elkhunter! I can’t believe the UDWR would just let a popular forum like that die? It’s such a great opportunity to communicate with and educate a variety of constituents.

  26. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I did a WHOIS on Utah Wildlife Network and the site owners do not want to make themselves known to the public – the registrant, administrative Contact, and technical contact are all DomainsByProxy.com.

    But they’ll take your money – no problem.

    I’m not disparaging Utah Wildlife Network – I just like to know who I’m communicating with, that’s all.

  27. avatar elkhunter says:

    Mack,
    I believe its more just like a forum, and you can post pictures and things like that. The state F&G office used to conduct a forum but The Humane Society shut it down because someone posted something they did not like about hunting dogs, and rather get in a big deal with them so they shut it down. Thats what I heard at least. But I know JB they let it die pretty fast, almost overnight.
    Elkhunter

  28. avatar JB says:

    I got the impression that there may be some UDWR guys involved in running it–if that’s the case, I can see why they would want to hide their identities. You don’t want to say anthing that can get you in trouble at work!

  29. avatar Vicki says:

    I’m in Colorado (Northern), and would help in any way I could.
    JB, I doubt we would get people to buy a tag, just for the sake of wildlife watching, because you’d likely need to name areas of availability for it’s use. At present, you can do a lot of wildlife watching for free. But maybe we could have a fee (voluntary) added to State Parks and Rec passes, fishing and hunting licenses, and Nation Parks Passes, for this venture.
    (I also think we need to have a standard conservation course offered, if not mandated, before high school graduation. Perhaps wildlife watching could be incorporated…it’d promote passion in our future generations about the issues at hand.) One battle at a time, I suppose.
    Peter-best wishes on a speedy recovery.
    Elkhunter, did you ever make it to Yellowstone this year??

  30. avatar JB says:

    Vicki,

    Thanks for your comments. I understand that people can watch wildlife for free as it is. What I’m getting at is, what additional services could the DNRs provide that would be worth $10-20 to people who do not hunt? My suggestion was that they could run a website where people would pay $10 a year for access to up-to-date information on where to go to see wildlife, and could post stories, photos, etc. Would this be worth $10 and a bit more leverage with the state DNR to you?
    JB

  31. avatar Vicki says:

    JB,
    That is different than what I thought was being suggested. I would pay for the sign up fee, or maybe even to be on a bi-monthly email info-letter. Or perhaps some info about guides and contacts? Maybe they’d pay a nominal fee for advertising as well?
    My father-in-law runs a luxury van service out of Loveland, Colorado. I think he’d be interested.
    Mack-He may also be interested in driving some Coloradoans to Chico, in exchange for gas money and word of mouth advertising. (I like the carpooling idea, eco-friendly, cheaper, and allows for a network of aliances to come together face to face.)
    I also think that it’s good that this idea that this venture is not anti-hunting/angling. I see these groups as potential proponents to this cause. Wildlife watchers don’t compete for tags, but would help conserve habitat used by hunters/anglers alike.
    And, JB, I could help as far as wildlife info, I spend every weekend in the summer-except the two weeks I am in YNP- viewing wildlife and fishing in Colorado. I have a huge abundance of photos and stories, and a bit of knowledge on the’ where and how to see the critters of Colorado.’

  32. avatar catbestland says:

    Vicki,
    Would that be North Western Colorado? I am on the western slope. The reason I ask is that I am arranging some presentations by Sinapu.(the organization dedicated to returning wolves and other carnivores to Colorado, in case you didn’t already know) It would be helpful to have another place on the western slope to make one so that Rob can cover as much ground as possible. Also, we might consider pitching this Wildlife Watchers org. to the Western Colorado Congress. I would be interested in getting a carpool together for the conference in Chico Hot Springs.

  33. avatar catbestland says:

    Vicki,

    I love the idea of mandatory conservation courses in High School.

  34. avatar Vicki says:

    I live in Greeley, but I am in the Walden and Cameron Pass area nearly each weekend. I have also been familiarizing myself with the Sand Creek area. The area in North Park is floundering financially. But it is gorgeous there. Walden’s claim to fame is that they are the “Moose Watching Capital of the U.S.” They do have a huge abundance of them there. It is also the area where a reported wolf sighting occured a few years ago. The hurdle there is that the primary industry is ranching. The flip side is that the next largest industry is hunting/fishing and wildlife watching. I see a huge opportuntiy for a change there, but it’d would require a fight. Sinapu might be able to swing the shop owners there, but might have more effect on he people who would visit the area (which would be great for wolves in my humble estimation.) The area is a valley where natives used to gather the hunt buffalo. It is prime wildlife viewing habitat, hosting numerous birds, elk, bear, mounatin lion, deer, antelope, badger, coyotes, and the list goes on…
    My thought would be that Sinapu could swing community leaders who are experiencing a huge exodous of homeowners. Also, they should work on the big cities, and up coming voters in them. I say get the backing of voters in the area where ranching isn’t the main stay…Greeley, Loveland, Ft.Collins…. and work hard to gain sympathy among teens, as they will be voting without lifelong biasts under their belts. I’d push hard to win the future voters, which is easier than trying to turn the current ones.
    I’ll talk to my father-in-law today, and get back to you.

  35. avatar jimbob says:

    There it is. The solution for me goes back several posts to a solution to how Game and Fish agencies could “get money” out of wildlife watchers. I would “join” a website, or give voluntary donations to the Game and Fish depts. if I could be sure that the principles of conservation were being strictly followed for us (wildlife watchers or “consevationists”). I normally don’t give because of the muddled fundamentals of these and other political organizations. With the proper supervision I’m sure many others like myself would be motivated to “pull their weight” by funding wildlife in their states! I hope all of this gets going. If I can help I am willing!

  36. avatar sal says:

    The point is;

    “WE the People” are supposed to be represented, we the non-hunt/fish folks, by the government’s portion of the funding that supports these agencies.

    This is obviously not happening as the hunt/fish interests lean on the state agencies for more leverage since they complain about the government-federal in most arguments-“dictating” what’s to become of their sporting interests instate. Those who are not leaning on the agencies for the sake of sport are normally those who have been making a living off the natural resources–wild game–for the sake of their livelihood(s).

    Therefore, it is necessary to reinforce our presence in the ecological interests of all citizens whether they hunt, fish or whatever.

    It appears to me that what is needed, is an organization with national reach and operates at the state level-such as chapters-since these are state agencies we are interested in having our say with via alteration of legislative mandate.

    I think there ought to be a pledge upon joining and that member participation, on a civic level, would be requested–like attending these public hearings and participating in the “process” that we are asking/demanding to be included in.

    With the anticipated numbers of members, there should be plenty of participants to take turns attending, etc..

    The funding came come from fundraisers, grants and donations for various operational costs and public info literature, web site management or whatever.

  37. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    sal says:

    “WE the People” are supposed to be represented, we the non-hunt/fish folks, by the government’s portion of the funding that supports these agencies.

    Actually, sal, because wildlife belongs to all the people of their respective states, “we the people” are supposed to have wildlife managed in the interest of ALL the people of our respective states, not just special interest groups, regardless of whether or not we contribute (by taxes or otherwise) to their wildlife management agencies. At least this is my opinion – I’m waiting for an attorney’s opinion.

    “It appears to me that what is needed, is an organization with national reach and operates at the state level-such as chapters-since these are state agencies we are interested in having our say with via alteration of legislative mandate.”

    YES…!

    “I think there ought to be a pledge upon joining and that member participation, on a civic level, would be requested–like attending these public hearings and participating in the “process” that we are asking/demanding to be included in.”

    YES…!

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  38. avatar be says:

    i like the idea of civics being taught in high school as well… or at least college ~ perhaps a conservation civics class ? 😉

  39. Hi everybody, I was “out of service” again but back on duty now. Not so easy to keep track on everything that happens around the world. Just back, I was met by a desaster here in Germany. Two of our wild wolves ilegally killed recently (Hey, that makes about 10% of our whole population). The last incident is fresh from last weekend. Seems a hunting party of at least 3 hunters (remember, the german hunters surely the best educated, organised and tested in the world) killed a wolf with 4 shots ! The earlier incident is still not clear but looks more like poaching. Keep you informed as soon as I know the consolidated story. As for wildlifewatchers, I´m considering to re-do my own website. Yes, I know, lots of considering from my side, with no real results at the moment. Working on it :-))

  40. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Hi, Peter, and welcome back…!

    I’m sorry to learn of the loss of 2 of your wolves and I hope that anyone and everyone that committed a crime in killing those wolves is discovered and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    We’re working on Wildlife Watchers; first step is to incorporate and then obtain non-profit status. It’s going to take a little time…

    Happy Holidays, Peter, to you and yours…!

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  41. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    With all the controversy over the actions of GYC, I thought it appropriate to post an update on an upcoming project: Wildlife Watchers.

    Wildlife Watchers should be up and running in a few weeks, we hope…! We believe that because that are so many of us wildlife watchers, that we deserve a seat (or hundreds, actually) at the tables of the decisions makers of our respective states. We will demand to be heard and because of our sheer numbers, politicians and wildlife agencies will want to work with us. We’ll quickly obtain the level of membership necessary to be a major influence if you and your friends, and your friend’s friends (and their friends) join. 🙂

    Stay tuned, faithful wildlife watchers/lovers…

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  42. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Mack,
    Thanks for the update!
    Bailey

  43. avatar vicki says:

    Mack,
    Thanks for your efforts. What will funding be used for? Do you have an idea about your articles of incorporation? Will you post them publicly? WIll membership’s cost be determined or do you already have an idea? I think the fact that the group won’t be affiliated with predators exclusively will provide more accessability and influence. How will it differ from Defender’s?
    Sorry, I am so full of questions.
    Thanks,
    Vicki

  44. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    We are pleased to announce that as of today, April 3, 2008, Wildlife Watchers is beginning operations.

    We have incorporated in the State of Wyoming and have applied for IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status. We are required to tell potential donors that we do not yet have our non-profit status, but anticipate receiving our non-profit status within approximately 180 days. As of today, all donations are fully tax deductible to the extend provided by law.

    More importantly, we want to help you to help the wildlife of America, all the wildlife on our public lands and all the wildlife in your individual states. We want to be *your* organization. We want to hear your voice, the voice of over 71 million Americans who watch wildlife.

    Next step: creation of our web site. Once our web site is up and running, and we can accept members, please join us. And please ask your family, friends, and associates to join us. As I’ve mentioned, if you cannot afford to make a donation, just send in a picture, story or poem about wildlife and you will be a valued member.

    Following step: form a 501(c)(4) which will give us unlimited lobbying capability as well as the capability to support, or not support, wildlife friendly or wildlife unfriendly political candiates. If we want to change the laws, we must change the lawmakers.

    Please feel free to correspond:

    Wildlife Watchers
    P.O. Box 8414
    Jackson, WY 83002

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net

    Please feel free to distribute our Mission Statement far and wide:

    Wildlife Watchers Mission Statement

    The mission of Wildlife Watchers is to promote fair and balanced management of wildlife by relying on the Public Trust Doctrine. Our goal is to organize wildlife watchers into one powerful voice, while working with state and federal wildlife managers towards developing a system that promotes impartial wildlife management. Wildlife Watchers is pro-hunting and pro-angling. Wildlife Watchers will strive to develop partnerships at the federal, state and local levels to protect wildlife habitat, will help develop new sources of revenue for wildlife management agencies and will encourage and assist state residents to participate effectively in public policy decision-making. Through education of its members, Wildlife Watchers will encourage the ethically and socially responsible enjoyment of wildlife.

    Dr. Ralph Maughan, we cannot thank you enough for hosting this very important public forum. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.

    In other words, THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH US…!

    Sincerely,

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers
    Secretary/Treasurer

  45. avatar Catbestland says:

    Mack,

    If you can come up with a flyer or something (or just what you want it to say). I will have some printed up and distribute them at the “Meet Up for Wildlife” that is sponsored by Defendors of Wildlife next week. Other groups are supposed to be there as well. I can send you the information about it if you think it might be a good place to distribute material. I will be happy to add some type of sketch of a wolf or something on the flyer if you like. Or if someone else has some artwork that would be fine too.

  46. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Vicki, funds will be used to carry out our Mission Statement. We are going to have a strategic planning session next week and will more fully develop our plans of operation. Our articles of incorporation are filed with the State of Wyoming. We could post them on our website (to be), yes. Membership starts at $00.00 and there is no upper limit. 🙂

    How will we differ from Defenders of Wildlife? Bear with me while I check their mission statement…

    I can’t find anything labeled as a Mission Statement. I do find: “Defenders’ mission is to protect species and the habitats upon which they depend.” And: “Defenders’ main focus is restoring wolves to surviving former habitats in the lower 48 states and to prevent the extirpation of wolves in areas where they still exist.”

    Also, “Defenders of Wildlife employs over 150 dedicated professionals and is supported by more than 500,000 members nationwide.” And: “Defenders of Wildlife raised more than $35 million in fiscal year 2007, an increase of nearly $3 million from the previous year.”

    How will we differ from DOW? Well, I hope we NEVER have 150 dedicated professionals in our employ. I hope we have far more than 500,000 members. We’re no different in that $35 million would come in pretty handy right now…

    We’ll certainly differ in that we’ll be a grass-roots organization; not top-heavy with management or dedicated professionals; and we’ll have an associated organization, perhaps called Wildlife Watchers Political Action that will have unlimited lobbying capability as well as the capability to support wildlife friendly political candidates or very vocally not support wildlife unfriendly political candidates. To change the laws governing wildlife, we must change the lawmakers.

    Cat, thank you very much for offering to distribute flyers next week…! Please feel free to generate them yourself – grass-roots style. We will eventually have a more formal brochure for distribution. We need a logo. WW looks like binoculars to me. Please include our Mission Statement and email address and a blurb that says a web site is in the works. Thank you…!

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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