Fishing enthusiasts testify against merging outdoor agencies

So in a rush to save money, anywhere, State Senator Ranker and others in Olympia are racing to merge agencies. Is this merging without clear understanding of the consequences? It would seem so. I don’t really get what’s wrong with the current setup, other than the Governor and Ranker seems to think it can be streamlined without consequences. A fight seems pending… Hard to imagine this is all coming from a Democratic regime. It couldn’t be any worse coming from a Republican one it seems! What’s the difference? I certainly am having a hard time telling.

From the Kitsap Sun
OLYMPIA — Washington’s fishermen really like the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.

They really, really like it.

A crowd of mostly fishermen and fishing interests on Thursday overwhelmingly opposed Gov. Chris Gregoire’s plan to merge the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, the law enforcement and heritage functions of the Department of Natural Resources, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Recreation and Conservation Office into a new Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Their main objection: They don’t want the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to be changed from a body with legal clout to an advisory group. The commission, made up of nine members appointed by the governor, establishes policy for fish and wildlife species in the state and oversees the implementation of policies by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“I don’t think the Fish and Wildlife Commission situation is broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed,” said Jim Tuggle of Tumwater.

Many of the more than 100 people at a hearing Thursday in front of the Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee argued that turning the Fish and Wildlife Commission into an advisory group would create the danger of the governor’s politics — not science — making decisions.

Almost all of the roughly 30 people testifying — including representatives from numerous fishing and outdoors groups — opposed the merger.

“Do not allow this merger. … Merging giant bureaucracies with different mission will be difficult,” said Norman Reinhardt, president of the Kitsap Poggie Club.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island and chairman of the Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee, introduced the Senate bill. Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island, is one of six co-sponsors.

Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, is the sole sponsor of the House bill.

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/feb/10/fishing-enthusiasts-testify-against-merging/#ixzz1DmJRM3u5

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