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SD GF&P April Fool's joke?

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Liberty Belle

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If this wasn't so funny, I think I'd cry! Another panel? More lip service while GF&P does diddly-squat about landowners concerns? Do they really think the public is dumb enough to fall for a smoke screen and accept this worthless "grievance and complaint" panel instead of substantive protection under law?
Notice that Cooper picks the panel members and Rounds approves them. That’ll be an impartial group!! (A little sarcasm there, SH)


New 'complaints and advice' panel being formed for GF&P
By Bob Mercer, Black Hills Pioneer
April 01, 2005

PIERRE - Coming out of his agency's most bruising legislative session in decades, state Game, Fish and Parks Secretary John Cooper said he looks forward to a new wildlife issues panel, whose purpose will be to improve communications and handle complaints among landowners, sportsmen and the department.
State lawmakers voted nearly unanimously last month for a resolution urging creation of the panel. Cooper said the plan calls for eight members: two legislators; two Game, Fish and Parks Commission members; two landowners who also serve as county commissioners; and two sportsmen.
"The whole idea is to provide a sounding board and then make recommendations to the commission," Cooper said.
He said a list of candidates will be presented to Gov. Mike Rounds for selection. The informal timetable calls for an organizational meeting no later than late April or early May.
Last year, amid a landowner lockout and friction in northwestern South Dakota, a West River issues working group was established. The group conducted hearings across the state and its final report in December included seven recommendations for improving communications among landowners, sportsmen and department officials.
Using the same model, legislators want the new panel to be a forum where citizens including landowners and sportsmen can "air their complaints and grievances related to the use and management of the state's fish and wildlife resources."
Rep. Tom Brunner, R-Nisland, was the prime sponsor of the resolution last month calling for the panel's creation. The House of Representatives voted 70-0 for HCR 1019, and the Senate concurred 25-1.
"Hopefully this will offer some guidance and support to the secretary of Game, Fish and Parks, and the Game, Fish and Parks Commission. It really establishes a wildlife issues panel, is what it does," said Sen. Jay Duenwald, R-Hoven. He was the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate.
"Hopefully we can continue discussions and make it better for everybody concerned," he said.
Lawmakers said the panel members should provide guidance and recommendations for putting into effect the new communications strategies and a new eight-point plan for improving communications by the department's conservation officers in the field.
The group will also suggest steps the department can take to increase accountability when addressing citizen complaints against employees of the agency. The Legislature will receive reports from the panel periodically through the House and Senate agriculture and natural resources committees.
"I'm in favor of this," Cooper said. "It's an opportunity to have a conduit to the commission so the commission can see all the aspects of what we're dealing with. It's a wider forum to address all these issues."
One of the major dividing points between the department and some landowners is when conservation officers should be allowed to go onto private land.
The Senate approved legislation 19-15 that would have limited when conservation officers could enter private property without the landowner's permission, known as the "open fields" doctrine. But House members later rejected the bill, SB 122, on a 43-27 vote.
Brunner had a similar version of the open-fields legislation but halted his efforts to pass it after Duenwald's bill failed in the House. Instead he and Rep. Barry Jensen, R-White River, as well as others, worked with Cooper and Wildlife Division director Doug Hansen to craft the wildlife issues panel resolution.
Brunner enlisted 45 House members and 11 senators as co-sponsors of the resolution.
Seventeen other cosponsors of the open-fields bills were also cosponsors of the wildlife issues panel resolution.
In January, Cooper's department adopted a revised policy regarding when conservation offices may enter private land without permission.
Those instances include animal-injury situations such as car-deer collisions; law enforcement and investigating reports of crimes; providing assistance to other law enforcement officers in responding to public safety situations such as emergencies; and in limited instances conducting compliance checks of hunters, trappers, anglers and boaters.
Under the revised policy, the compliance checks can be conducted on private land without permission only when a conservation officer has personally seen or is able to reasonably show that hunting, fishing, boating or trapping activities are taking place at that time.
"We can't just go out there and drive around," said Emmett Keyser, the Wildlife Division's assistant director for enforcement.
 

katrina

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LB. We have a game warden that is suppost to be the law inforcment down here. Told the county commisioners in not so nice words that the roads have to be plowed so he can get to accidents. :lol:
 

SJ

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It seems stall tactics and studies is one thing GF&P is really good at. We can burn up another set of tires for nothing.
 

Liberty Belle

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SH, I’d love to have you try to justify this dog and pony show for us. Isn’t this akin to allowing the United Nations to investigate themselves? Correct me if I’m wrong, but all the members of this panel are picked by Cooper and approved by Rounds, right? Tell me what chance it could possibly have of not being just another rubber stamp group for GF&P like the West River Working Group was that wasted so much time and money with nothing of substance to come out of all those meetings.
 

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