Idea for raising $ for habitat, etc

Donation area on Tag Applications?

  • Great Idea - I'd probably give money

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Good Idea - but probably wouldn't give

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't care either way

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bad Idea - waste of time/money

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Really bad idea - I'd fight against this

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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    0

dlovato

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One of the things that I believe will help us hunters, long term, is getting more money to DFG - not DFG as a whole, but specifically to it's deer, elk, sheep, antelope programs.

Not just DFG though - but increase contributions to the other main Habitat improvement organizations such as the Mule deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, and North American Wild Sheep.

I think I have a way to do this with minimal "overhead costs", but wanted to get some feedback from other hunters on the idea.

Every year, california sends out the drawing applications, does the data entry, cashes the checks, etc. What if there was an OPTIONAL box on each of these drawing/license applications where hunters could "check" a box and make an additional contribution to either the DFG or the best known habitat foundation for the given species?

i.e. On the form along with whatever zones you are trying to draw deer for example, there was something like this:

[ ] Additional $______ donation to CA DFG for deer habitat improvement and scientific programs related to Deer in California
[ ] Additional $______ donation to the Mule Deer Foundation for use in Deer habitat programs in California

The Sheep application would be similar:

[ ] Additional $______ donation to CA DFG for Sheep habitat improvement and scientific programs releated to Sheep in California
[ ] Additional $______ donation to the North American Wild Sheep Foundation for use in Sheep habitat programs in California

Likewise for the Elk application:

[ ] Additional $______ donation to CA DFG for Elk habitat improvement and scientific programs releated to Elk in California
[ ] Additional $______ donation to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for use in Elk habitat programs in California

Same for the Bear applications:

[ ] Additional $______ donation to CA DFG for Bear habitat improvement and scientific programs releated to Bear in California

And finally, the same for the Antelope applications:

[ ] Additional $______ donation to CA DFG for Antelope habitat improvement and scientific programs releated to Antelope in California


Sort of like checking off the presidential election fund checkbox on your taxes.

Note that I made the wording very clear (or tried to) - the funds raised in this way MUST be used IN California for the species specified. i.e. If you give money for improving deer habitat, it can't be used for condors, lizards, etc.

A few thoughts on this:

#1 - This is completely optional - if you don't want to give, you don't have to - but while hunters have their "checkbooks open" so to speak, it's the best time to ask for donations...

#2 - CA DFG should/could get a small percentage (10%?) of the money raised in this manner for the 3rd party organizations for doing the data entry, cashing checks/credit cards, and "administering" the whole thing. i.e. DFG keeps 10% of total proceeds for Rocky Mtn Elk Foundation to cover it's costs - the other 90% goes to them.

#3 - There should be a "advisory board" made up of say, 10 hunters who oversees that the money raised from this method IS used for what hunters specified it be used for - i.e. if $1,000,000 was paid to the Mule deer foundation for use in CA - the advisory board would make sure it wasn't used in Wyoming. The same advisory board would make sure the direct donations to the CA DFG for elk program funding doesn't go to programs intended to improve habitat for lizards, fish, condors, owls, etc... - it has to be used for what the hunter who gave the donation intended it be spent on.

Thoughts?
 



fishnhunt

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I think although well intentioned if I am going to donate money for habitat conservation I will donate to RMEF, or mule deer forever, or pheasants forever, or etc........They are extremely effective at managening their much more than the DFG (sorry I do work for the government) and much of that money is contributed back to the federal government for habitat improvement projects and they have in several instances saved very important projects.
 

dlovato

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (fishnhunt @ Jul 3 2008, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I think although well intentioned if I am going to donate money for habitat conservation I will donate to RMEF, or mule deer forever, or pheasants forever, or etc........They are extremely effective at managening their much more than the DFG (sorry I do work for the government) and much of that money is contributed back to the federal government for habitat improvement projects and they have in several instances saved very important projects.[/b]
That's why I put those other orgs (an option other than just DFG) in the example. Just having them on the form will increase their total donations/income/working capital - make it brain-dead simple for the average hunter to "donate" - no need to write a separate check, mail a second envelope, find the address of RMEF/etc. The key to this is that while hunters are thinking about "how few tags there are" (during the draw application/tag purchase "process", and have their checkbook out - is the best time I can possibly think of to "hit them up" to contribute to improving the situation in the long term. And - it's a way to force the funds be used for improvements in the state the hunter intended them to be used in.

- Darryl
 

dlovato

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BTW - to illustrate the potential amount of money that could be raised from this...

In 2007 (last year in CA) 53,481 deer drawing applications where submitted to the DFG. IF 25% (1/4) of the hunters who put in for the drawing added $25, that would raise $334,000 for habitat improvement, etc - that's a good chunk of change - and this is just for deer - do the same for elk, sheep, etc and it's quite possible that some real improvements in big game numbers could come from it - meaning more tags available in future drawings.

I don't see much in the way of a downside - it's strictly "voluntary" - everyone wins. Changing the application form, and tracking the money wouldn't be that difficult - and for those of you who don't trust the state Fish/Game department - the option of assigning the donation to Mule Deer Foundation, RMEF, etc covers that "argument" - same outcome - better habitat/better science = more animals regardless of if it's the state or a non-profit deciding where to "use" the donated money (hunter's choice of who to give it to).
 

bpnclark

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You could give a million dollars to the DF&G and nothing would change.
 

Val

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The DF&G is merely a front for the lunatic fringe "environmentalist". It became this under our previous bleeding heart liberal State Governments. Arnie isn't doing anything to rebalance the interest of fishermen and sportmen. More money to the DF&G would result in more studies to further curtail fishing and hunting.
 

hank4elk

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i would donate, just not to dfg. RMEF,CDA,MDF, and only if it stays in ca. for habitat restoration. i'm sorry but with all the money i have given dfg in the my 53 yrs, tags lic. ... i just think they would squander it , as they are so adept at doing, USDA-FOREST CIRCUS same... and it gets worse every year. hank
 

driftmaster77

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I agree with bpnclark, a million dollars would hardly help. You can't stop man from infringing on their habitat, building more homes, roads, especially in the deer winter area, both east and west slopes of the Sierra Nevada. California is on fire right now, hundreds of lightning fires. People losing everything, forests burning, it sucks, but this is nature doing it's thing. Nothing could be better for deer habitat than what's happening right now. Open up the thick brush and forests and let some sunlight in. Classic deer habitat restoration. Fire, Bad for people and property,good for deer habitat. Unfortunately the cost of fighting these fires will be way more than a million dollars in a state thats broke. Look for more dfg cuts next year.
 

dlovato

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (driftmaster77 @ Jul 4 2008, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I agree with bpnclark, a million dollars would hardly help. You can't stop man from infringing on their habitat, building more homes, roads, especially in the deer winter area, both east and west slopes of the Sierra Nevada. California is on fire right now, hundreds of lightning fires. People losing everything, forests burning, it sucks, but this is nature doing it's thing. Nothing could be better for deer habitat than what's happening right now. Open up the thick brush and forests and let some sunlight in. Classic deer habitat restoration. Fire, Bad for people and property,good for deer habitat. Unfortunately the cost of fighting these fires will be way more than a million dollars in a state thats broke. Look for more dfg cuts next year.[/b]
You can't stop all of the human encroachment - but you can ensure critical migration paths and at least some of the critical wintering areas are left intact with money and will power/effort. I agree with the fires being a "good thing" - let them burn as much as possible.

- Darryl
 

tmoniz

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Darryl.
I for one appreciate your intentions. I really do.
I'm all for it. I'm all for anything that will preserve wildlife habitat.
But what I would like to ask is if you have any evidence that the organizations you have mentioned have had any influence on California land and it's wildlife.

If they have. Please direct me to them so as to stay informed.
I'm not posing an arguement here. I'm just asking for facts.
If they have done something good for California. Then I'll be the first to throw a buck or two their way.
I just don't want my money to go towards funding a thought and not an action.
 

dlovato

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (tmoniz @ Jul 5 2008, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Darryl.
I for one appreciate your intentions. I really do.
I'm all for it. I'm all for anything that will preserve wildlife habitat.
But what I would like to ask is if you have any evidence that the organizations you have mentioned have had any influence on California land and it's wildlife.

If they have. Please direct me to them so as to stay informed.
I'm not posing an arguement here. I'm just asking for facts.
If they have done something good for California. Then I'll be the first to throw a buck or two their way.
I just don't want my money to go towards funding a thought and not an action.[/b]
Of course... That's the whole point of this proposal.

Get money from those who have a "real" stake in the future of game animals to the government and non-profit orgs that can do something about it. Here's some links:

(if any of you have better links, feel free to respond with better descriptions of the various orgs).

DFG:
<http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/plm.html>
<http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/>

Mule Deer Foundation:
<http://www.muledeer.org/Projects/index.html>

California Deer Association:
<http://www.caldeer.org/projects.htm>

Rocky mountain Elk Foundation
<http://www.rmef.org/Conservation/HowWeConserve/>

Wild Sheep
<http://www.wildsheepfoundation.org/>

All of the above are worthwhile - but my proposal to create something that gives Hunter's a way to "specify" where their "donation" will be used, so it's not wasted to where you will never see a benefit.

The "issues" my proposal tries to address is the two "problems" I see with ANY donation intended to improve habitat:

* CA DFG funds made can go for any species - condors vs elk
* Non Profits for specific species (Elk/Mule deer/etc) can use donations anywhere they like - re-introducing elk in some other state you'll never hunt.

What I'm proposing is a EARMARK from CA hunters (substitute WA/OR/etc if that's where you live) to give back/invest in the future of whatever game species you are interested in tied to that species future - your ability, your kids ability, grandkids, great grand kids etc.

Totally optional - give or not - I'm just looking for a checkbox on ALL tag apps that allow giving extra - with hunter knowledge of where their money is going.

Also totally optional on what organization you give it to - if you think the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will be more "effective" than the CA DFG, for improving Elk habitat in CA - both would have to spend the $ you gave them in CA (substitute your state as necessary) - Fine with me. The State governments would need to get a small cut of the total $ - because of the overhead of implementing the accounting - but I think that's fine - they have to do the data entry and cut a check to a non-profit for what was raised - already doing most of it. Just another category of "revenue" that needs to go into a separate accounting "bucket".

The potential $ raised over not doing this WILL HELP all of us in the long term. (IMHO of course)

I stand by my proposal that there should be an oversight committee - Hunters - not employees of DFG (government) or the Non-profits (they also have their political issues) make sure the money is spend where and for what it was intended.

Without an oversight committee, made from hunters, I would change my personal vote to "waste of time" from I'd give $.

- Darryl
 

Spoony

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I've been giving money for 30 years. It has not helped me or other working class hunters. It takes years to draw a premium tag, unless you have the money to buy one. I won't give California liberals another penny.
 

WildlifeBranch

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I'll bite. But first I would ask a basic question: If you give me (DFG) more money for those species, what would you want me to do with it?

Let's 1st identify the problem, then begin to assess the options we have to address them-- in priority.

Here are some realities/facts for your consideration before answering:

1) DFG manages less than 1% of the state's wildlife habitat.

2) DFG is reluctant (and it is quite difficult in government) to spend public money on private lands (note the big exception to this is for waterfowl).

3) The HUGE disturbances of the period from 1900-1970s that created things like deer habitat will not likely return. The current fires throughout much of California are perhaps the closest to those disturbances we will see.

4) Deer are mostly on USFS/BLM ground. Antelope on BLM/USFS ground. Elk on USFS ground. Sheep on NPS, BLM, USFS, and Military ground.

5) Not all hunters want trophy zones if it means giving up opportunity to go hunting; most want the opportunity. More and more hunters want their own "special" season for archery, muzzle-loader, late season, junior, etc.. hunts.


Eric
 

dlovato

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Perfect.

#1. Correct - but the DFG does have the ability (at least I think you do) to influence policies that effect the other 99%.

#2. I agree - but, I go back to #1. If some developer wants to put in a subdivision in a deer migration area, or critical wintering grounds, I think it's well worth DFG's time to fight against it - you don't need to "buy" the land to protect it, but at least a voice can be heard from an official agency on what the impact would be.

#3. Agreed - so how about DFG pushing to "let fires burn" within reason - currently the Ventana wilderness is ablaze - there are a number of people that want to put it out asap so that it stays "pretty" - the east side of this wilderness still hasn't burned, and there are not any homes in the area - so let it burn. DFG input on every forest fire would be a good thing - and something that money from a voluntary "donation" would be a good use for. I understand structures need to be protected, but other than that, I think it would help if DFG let their voice be heard on the benefits of fire to "locals", etc when a fire starts.

#4. Understood - but it's not so much about the "ground" they are on - but in CA - the DFG does (or at least should based on the mission statement of the DFG) have some input on how these other lands are managed. At the least, using money given from hunters to get up to date population estimates of the big game animals, buck/doe ratios etc will help DFG make more informed choices regarding tag quota's, etc.

#5. Agreed - money from a voluntary "donation" on tags would help solidify these choices - find out the true (a real survey) percentages of hunters who want each of the options you laid out so that DFG knows what to shoot for in a long-term goal.

Thanks for responding!

- Darryl
 

dlovato

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One thing - I realized I didn't give feedback on your first (and probably most important question).

"If you give me (DFG) more money for those species, what would you want me to do with it?"

Simple - increase the numbers of each in the most efficient way possible (probably habitat related). More numbers will equal more opportunity for hunters, as well as more "trophies". Everyone wins.

Make a "to do list" of all the things you could do with more $. This list would include potential cost, potential increase in herd size from that expenditure - then a "calculation" on the return on investment for each project - i.e. # of animals increased from money spent - sort the spreadsheet on that, then start at the top - whatever gives hunters for that species the most "bang for the buck" is what should be done first (IMHO).

- Darryl
 

WildlifeBranch

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over the past 20 years:

- elk are on the increase
-bear are on the increase
-desert sheep are on the increase
-wild turkeys are on the increase

So that leaves deer and antelope, both down. What if the most efficient way of increasing them means a reduction in some other land uses or interest groups "interests"-- how will we overcome that?

On your numbered items above 1= some, but not as much as you think. 2= we do that all the time and have for decades. 3= we do, we have 14 people tasked in a wildlife advisory role to the fires right now-- the locals know the benefits of fire to deer, still their job is to put them out. 4= we do get that info from PLMs. 5= we did a survey about 10 years ago; cost about $65,000 then.

I'm kind of asking rhetorical questions here Darryl--we're doing a fair share of what you suggest, it just shows more for the less numerous species. Meanwhile, I expect deer populations to be up in 3 years because of last years and this years fires-- how about you? assuming continued drought doesn't knock everything in the dirt....
 

dlovato

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Agreed on everything you stated - Elk,Sheep,Turkey all up etc. There are issues with Deer/Antelope.

I'm certainly not saying DFG doesn't do anything - the question goes back to the start of the thread... and this "survey" to start with...

If DFG had "extra/more money" that was "Earmarked" to be put on the species specified by the hunter that donated it (Deer, or whatever)..... Could things be done using that money to increase the numbers long term - i.e. improve carrying capacity?

It seems like there are things that could be done - more PLM properties & habitat projects on them, protect migration zones, wintering grounds, more guzzlers in the desert regions, etc, etc.

Or would as some suggested, "even a million dollars isn't going to help"...

- Darryl
 

WildlifeBranch

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It's a question of scale, and you might look at this way:

Let's say deer inhabit about 50 million acres of California. To improve deer habitat (and presumably the deer population) by 1% would require treating 500,000 acres. The biggest fire (if we consider fire a good thing for deer and in most cases we do) in the history of the Sierra Nevada was about 150,000 acres. As of right now, the June fires have burned approx. 558,000 acres statewide.

I'm pretty sure a 1% increase in deer would not be detectable. Probably need 10% change at least to be able to detect it.
 

upper

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I only take issue with the one percent of the habitat.Dove live in the city,is that habitat? Upper
 

WildlifeBranch

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one of the best opportunities remains NE California (Lassen, Modoc, and E. Siskiyou Co's). Working to reduce the juniper encroachment that has removed browse for deer and made it too high in cover for antelope.

Most user groups-- hunters/enviros/ranchers would agree on this one. while at it, restore aspen habitats more.
 

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