Idaho FG Working to Make it Easier for All Sportsmen to Have Their Voices Heard
While Idaho’s fish & wildlife remain biologically unchanged, the manner in which we as humans enjoy them is constantly changing and the methods used to communicate with the sporting public are constantly evolving as well. Because time seems to be the one commodity that is becoming more and more precious, IDFG is trying a new approach by consolidating its big game and fisheries meetings together and making even more information available on the Internet to those who cannot attend the meetings being held in Idaho Falls on February 28th and Rexburg on March 1st.
According to Upper Snake Regional Supervisor Steve Schmidt, “We realize that people’s time is extremely valuable, so we’re combing our big game & fishing regulation proposal meetings together, as well as making more information available on YouTube for those who cannot attend a meeting.” Last year wildlife managers in the Upper Snake Region experimented with placing short informational videos on YouTube and found they reached more people than had been attending the traditional public meetings. “This time we will have seven different short videos that sportsman can click on to learn about the status of the animals they are interested in,” said Daryl Meints, Upper Snake Region Wildlife Manager. There will be separate videos for all of the region’s big game species: black bear, mountain lion, wolf, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and antelope.
According to Meints, “At this stage we are looking for issues that sportsman would like us to address during the regulation setting process. For example, would they like to see more or less opportunity for whatever species in a given unit or season.” Online visitors will have the same opportunity to provide comments as those who attend the public meetings.
The meetings will involve two separate half- hour presentations, one by the regional wildlife manager and the other by the regional fishery manager. After their presentations, sportsmen will be able to visit various displays staffed by biologists and discuss specific topics of interest.
Comments from the public are due by February 16th. After that date, biologists will review comments and develop strategies and proposals that will be taken out to the public for comment during late February and early March. Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Daryl Meints at IDFG at 525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD). Individuals not able to attend, but wishing to comment may do so by regular mail to IDFG / 4279 Commerce Circle in Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401. Email comments about wildlife can be sent to [email protected],gov and fisheries comments can be sent to [email protected].