Idaho Wildlife Summit Explores Fish and Game Funding Problems, Solutions

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After two days of conferencing, the Idaho Wildlife Summit wraps up this morning at the Riverside Hotel.

Over the course of the weekend, hunters, biologists and conservationists gathered across Idaho and over the Internet to determine the next steps in the Idaho Fish and Game management programs.

One highlight of the summit was a speech from Toni Hardesty, the executive director for the Idaho Nature Conservancy. It might seem that a ballroom full of outdoor enthusiasts is a tricky location for a Nature Conservancy leader to get a warm reception. But not for Hardesty.

She opened with a story about why her maternal and paternal grandparents never went fishing together. One fished for trout, the other fished for catfish. Thus, they could not fish together.

Her point was that the type of fish sought is clearly an inconsequential divide, but one that kept both sides apart while fishing. She used this as an analogy for sportsmen and nature conservancy folks.

And for the most part, sportsmen and conservationists have more common ground than either care to admit. Both want to protect habitat and see animals flourish into the future. Both want to see a sustainable Idaho Fish and Game and both realize that the current consumptive-use model of the Idaho Fish and Game is unsustainable.

As Idaho’s population grows, the demands on the department grow. Revenue, however, is not keeping up with the demand set by the public. How is the IDFG going to solve this problem?

In Wednesday's edition of Boise Weekly, we'll have a detailed report on the Idaho Fish and Game budget, as well as an interview with the IDFG Director Virgil Moore.

For more by Randy King visit Chefrandyking.com.

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