From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:
Accused of mismanagement resulting in a $17 million budgetary shortfall a n d
more than 100 layoffs from a staff of 1,600, Bert Shanks, 58, resigned on June 13 as director
of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, but will continue to collect his $96,000-ayear
salary until September 11. Shanks attributed the shortfall to erroneously expecting in July
1996 that fishing license sales would increase, even though a scarcity of fish had obliged cuts
in bag limits and fishing opportunities.
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Committee on June 1 approved a 1999 fiscal
year state Wildlife Department budget of $25.4 million, $1 million less than in 1998 due to
declining hunting and fishing license sales revenue.
The Pennsylvania Wild Research Conservation Fund, set up in 1982 to conserve
endangered and threatened species without the use of either hunting and fishing license revenue
or diversions from general funds, was initially supported by income tax refund checkoffs, augmented since 1993 by sales of commemorative license plates. However, Don Hopey of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on June 16, it is now receiving only $112,000 a year in
checkoffs, down from $390,000 a year at peak, and the plate sales are reportedly also down,
outsold by other special plates benefiting zoos and a variety of human causes.
Louisiana Assistant Attorney General Frederick Whitrock on May 27 advised
state Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary James Jenkins Jr. that his department cannot legally issue
free hunting and/or fishing licenses to hook-and-bullet writers. Jenkins claimed another state
agency had asked Wildlife and Fisheries to “consider doing this to enhance public relations.”
Renee Galeano-Popp, a U.S. Forest Service biologist for 20 years, resigned in
May due to alleged lack of backup from superiors in trying to protect biodiversity on leased