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I apologize for starting another Expo Tag thread but I wanted to show people exactly how much money has been generated from the $5 application fees at the Expo since those tags were taken out of the public draw. According to the statute that created the Expo Tags, one of the two express purposes was to "generate revenue to fund wildlife conservation." Despite this clear language, there was absolutely no requirement that a single dollar from generated from these permits be used for actual conservation activities. Why not? That is an entirely separate story.

When sportsmen, including many from this website, rose up and demanded change and accountability in 2012, SFW, MDF and the DWR reluctantly agreed to allocate a small portion of the revenues to actual conservation projects beginning in 2013. Based upon the numbers provided by the DWR, SFW and MDF have generated over $8.5 million in revenue from the Expo Tags since they were created. Of that $8.5 million, SFW and MDF have pocketed nearly $7.5 million in the form of "administrative expenses" while reluctantly agreeing (after dragging their feet for years) to earmark just over $1 million for actual conservation projects. I don't know about you but I think we can and should do better. These tags are public assets and we should demand a higher level of accountability from the DWR and our conservation groups.

Fast forward to the 2015, RMEF has stepped forward and submitted a generous proposal that includes a voluntary commitment to dedicate 100% of the application fee revenue to approved conservation projects. That would represent millions of additional dollars for conservation during the 5 to 10 year term of the contract. In addition, RMEF has committed to bring the RMEF National Convention to SLC during the term of the agreement. This would be an awesome event. If this is something you care about, please contact the DWR, the Wildlife Board and your politicians. Something tells me that this will be an uphill battle.

By the way, I based my calculations below on the recent "audit" performed by the DWR and circulated at the August Wildlife Board meeting. See http://wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/board/2015-08_board_packet.pdf If you see any mistakes in my calculations, please let me know. Math was never my strong suit.

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-Hawkeye-
 

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Some people are pond scum and then you have SFW which is a much lower life form.
 

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Some people are pond scum and then you have SFW which is a much lower life form.
No need to go their Lost...-O,- I would be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees more with the philosophy of SFW than myself, but resorting to that type of comment does no one any good. There are many folks who, for one reason or another, support SFW, and often times don't agree with some of what that org does, but maintain their support none the less. To each his/her own.

Personally, I will not support them, unless major changes within the organization take place, and then only when said changes have been time tested...
 

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Thanks for yet another great post, Hawkeye!

Next topic is where money for "actual conservation" gets spent, ...actually. But one thing at a time, eh?
 

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If RMEF gets the contract and they're actually sending all of that money to conservation, I think I'll actually put in for the expo tags... until then I'll continue my boycott of the entire event.
 

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Thanks for yet another great post, Hawkeye!

Next topic is where money for "actual conservation" gets spent, ...actually. But one thing at a time, eh?
I'm not sure how the new EXPO Permit 30% mandate law is written, but it's my understanding that the money is simply turned over to the DWR and it's their call as to how it is spent. It isn't like the Conservation Permit Program where the conservation organization retains (and draws interest on) part of the funds (60%) in a separate account for DWR approved projects.

What will happen with RMEF's willingness to return all of the funds to conservation is unknown, but it's likely that they will just turn it over to the DWR. Since it would be a voluntary contribution, they'll have the option of designating the currently non-mandated 70% to specific projects or species or programs, but whether or not they do it is up to them.
 
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