Wildlife management bites the bullet

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1998:

CASPER––Scrambling to cover a $17 million
deficit caused by plummeting sales of hunting
and fishing licenses, the Washington Fish and
Wildlife Commission on May 14 unanimously
approved $11.4 million worth of cuts to the
$250 million Department of Fish and Wildlife
budget, including the elimination of 84 jobs
and closure of two fish hatcheries, effective
July 1. Further cuts of about $3.1 million must
still be made, due to losses of matching funds
from federal taxes on hunting and fishing gear.
The Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, facing a $10.5 million deficit over
the next two fiscal years, earlier announced it
will cut 17 positions from its 1,000-member
staff, and increase hunting and fishing license
fees, for the first time since 1994.

Idaho, after declining $4 million in
federal matching funds for nongame programs
because ranchers and miners objected to some
of the terms, may now lose leadership of the
$10 million Foundation for North American
Wild Sheep effort to increase the fragile
bighorn population in Hell’s Canyon, which
forms part of the Idaho/Oregon/Washington
border. The foundation is upset, past president
Robert DiGrazia said, because
Department of Fish and Game director Steve
Mealey got only $100,000 from the Air Force
to monitor the effects of low-level jet flights
on the sheep, instead of the $200,000 he said
it should have gotten. Mealey said that dickering
with the Air Force is still underway.
Meanwhile, failing to sell even 10%
of the amount of advertising needed to sustain
Idaho Wildlife, the Idaho DFG magazine, the
department axed it this spring to cut costs.

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