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Covey Jones should be running this state. The rest of these guys are clowns for the most part
+1.

This is exactly what I thought when I watched it. A couple of the RAC chairs seemed to have their heads on straight as well. But the board...holy smokes! Time to clean house.

Absolutely ridiculous to completely ignore the public process and push their own agenda.
 

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Covey Jones should be running this state. The rest of these guys are clowns for the most part
That would not end well for Utah or it's wildlife. Checks and balances please.

I really don't think those units that were proposed to make general any bull would have had much effect on alleviating crowding. There are not many elk on them, especially to justify unlimited tags or even 5k more than the 15k. I think it may just boil down to just give out more general any bull tags until people are just sick of buying a tag and seeing 10x more people than elk. Then the demand might go down some. I like the direction the board went with the additional hams hunt units instead. IMO, I think less effective weapons and restricting technology are the answer to the increased demand for tags along with pleasing landowners with a revamed landowner rule so Utah can grow more elk in the state.
 

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I could be wrong but I don't think Covy would scale up well.

That being said I thought the unlimited tag proposal was exactly what Covy said it was. Trying to determine the true demand for them. Tell somebody they can't have something and then everybody wants it.

I agree the proposed general areas maybe wouldn't have many takers but it will be interesting to see if all the HAMS hunts are popular enough to reduce demand for the general tags.
 

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Covey Jones should be running this state. The rest of these guys are clowns for the most part
That would not end well for Utah or it's wildlife. Checks and balances please.

I really don't think those units that were proposed to make general any bull would have had much effect on alleviating crowding. There are not many elk on them, especially to justify unlimited tags or even 5k more than the 15k. I think it may just boil down to just give out more general any bull tags until people are just sick of buying a tag and seeing 10x more people than elk. Then the demand might go down some. I like the direction the board went with the additional hams hunt units instead. IMO, I think less effective weapons and restricting technology are the answer to the increased demand for tags along with pleasing landowners with a revamed landowner rule so Utah can grow more elk in the state.
Pretty easy compromise would have been to split it. Open up a couple new general bull units and the rest stay at limited entry with HAM hunts. But half that board is to head strong to think rationally.
If you think these HAM hunts are going to drastically help with point creep you are mistaken. Also are you gonna waste your points on one of these crappy limited entry units ???
Utah's General bull hunt is the laughing stock in the western United States and unfortunately it's going to stay that way.
Because some people out there think every last square mile of the state needs to be a trophy unit
 

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Whereas, WB members are picked by the Governor, perhaps some well placed voices of dissatisfaction to Cox may tell us how his administration will react to wildlife issues. -Ov-
I'm expecting good things from Cox. He's nothing at all like Herbert. He knows the difference between right and wrong and I think he'll lend a sympathetic ear to grievances about his WB.

Where the Legislature can make itself useful would be in updating the entire process. Can we really expect just 7 part-time people to make quality decisions on all regulated wildlife in the state? Meantime, the deference to private organizations at the RACs as well as the WB may be founded on some notion that it maximizes public input, but it definitely stifles voices of dissent.

The state was a very different place in the 1920s when the first iteration of a wildlife board was invented. It's a different place today than it even was when the RACs were created in the 1990s. Time to rethink and retool.
 

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Covey Jones should be running this state. The rest of these guys are clowns for the most part
That would not end well for Utah or it's wildlife. Checks and balances please.

I really don't think those units that were proposed to make general any bull would have had much effect on alleviating crowding. There are not many elk on them, especially to justify unlimited tags or even 5k more than the 15k. I think it may just boil down to just give out more general any bull tags until people are just sick of buying a tag and seeing 10x more people than elk. Then the demand might go down some. I like the direction the board went with the additional hams hunt units instead. IMO, I think less effective weapons and restricting technology are the answer to the increased demand for tags along with pleasing landowners with a revamed landowner rule so Utah can grow more elk in the state.
Pretty easy compromise would have been to split it. Open up a couple new general bull units and the rest stay at limited entry with HAM hunts. But half that board is to head strong to think rationally.
If you think these HAM hunts are going to drastically help with point creep you are mistaken. Also are you gonna waste your points on one of these crappy limited entry units ???
Utah's General bull hunt is the laughing stock in the western United States and unfortunately it's going to stay that way.
Because some people out there think every last square mile of the state needs to be a trophy unit
Actually I would love to burn my points on one of them. I tend to think they shouldn't have a 5 year waiting period like the non-"crappy" limited entry units because success rates will likely be lower on hams.
Nevada used to have a variable waiting period 10 if you harvested, 5 if you didn't harvest. Maybe something like that could be looked at.
 

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You guys are acting like the 5 new general any bull units and unlimited elk tags are Covy’s plan.

There is an elk committee, that spends lots of time with lots of different stake holders that discuss things. They make recommendations. Those recommendations go through the RACs, where more people get to discuss and debate them. Wildlife biologists contribute and give their input and recommendations. Then the overall recommendation goes to the Wildlife Board who sets the policy. It’s not a perfect system, it can still be manipulated by special interests, but when actually followed, it ends up being pretty good.

These stupid actions they took were not a part of the elk committee recommendations or the recommendations from the RACs overall. One RAC had an issue “in their backyard” and it just snowballed from there. Everyone saw a chance to drive their own agenda based upon the emails they’d personally received.

Really? Emails the Wildlife Board personally receives take precedent over ideas that have gone through months/years of vetting and public input? If that’s the case...get ready for some friggin emails, Board members!
 

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I realize that the elk committee proposed the changes and I also agree that the RAC process was thrown to the wind.

I'm not sure what the solution is. Finnegan's comment about 7 part time guys running the show is spot on. My problem is understanding how to change it. It seems like if the Governor is appointing the board then organized entities are given more sway on the selection process. It comes down to that nasty word POLITICS.

I'll still support the RAC process but have no problem venting my frustration directly to the board.
 

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I don't believe for a second that the RAC process or WB was ever a good idea. I still believe and always have that the local regional biologists should be ultimately responsible for setting tag numbers and establishing local regulations.

Once the RACs and WB was created and the process instituted, the doors were opened for wildlife management to get more and more political, which it has. Changing WB members or RAC members won't change that. Getting the legislature involved won't change that either. What needs to be changed is the process. Put the responsibility back on the bios shoulders and allow the public input through committees and direct communication with the bios.
 

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Wildlife biologists should absolutely have a very important seat at the table. I think right now their seat is mostly token, where it should probably be at the head of the table. Any amendment that is not biologically sound should be rejected summarily. Our biologists should be able to sign off on all wildlife management policy decisions, or we shouldn't do them.

I do not, however, think that all wildlife and hunter management rulemaking authority should be vested in a local biologist.
 

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Wildlife biologists should absolutely have a very important seat at the table. I think right now their seat is mostly token, where it should probably be at the head of the table. Any amendment that is not biologically sound should be rejected summarily. Our biologists should be able to sign off on all wildlife management policy decisions, or we shouldn't do them.

I do not, however, think that all wildlife and hunter management rulemaking authority should be vested in a local biologist.
I agree 100% on the decisions needing to be biologically sound..

I also think that the current RAC committee structure is closer to what it could/should be on the Wildlife Board level. I would ideally like to see reps for sportsman, public lands, private lands, wildlife biology, farmers/ranchers, tribe to all have a seat at the table and all play into the decision making process.
 

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I agree 100% on the decisions needing to be biologically sound..

I also think that the current RAC committee structure is closer to what it could/should be on the Wildlife Board level. I would ideally like to see reps for sportsman, public lands, private lands, wildlife biology, farmers/ranchers, tribe to all have a seat at the table and all play into the decision making process.
UTAH DIVISION OF WILDLIFE RESOURCES
STATEWIDE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR ELK
I. PURPOSE OF THE PLAN
A. General
The statewide elk management plan provides overall guidance and direction for Utah's elk
management program. This plan briefly describes general information on elk natural history,
management, habitat, and population status. This statewide elk management plan was revised by
a 20 person advisory committee. The committee was diverse and had representation from: the
Utah Wildlife Board, 5 Regional Advisory Councils, Brigham Young University, Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Utah Bowman's Association, US
Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Farm Bureau, Cooperative Wildlife
Management Unit Association, Utah Guides and Outfitters, Utah State Legislature, private
landowners, livestock permittees, public at large, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

(UDWR). This group met five times from June 2 to August 11, 2015. The committee identified
components of the last elk plan that were working well and areas that could be improved upon,
and then developed goals, objectives, and strategies to address those management issues.
B. Dates Covered
The elk plan was approved by the Wildlife Board on December 2, 2015 and will be in effect until
December 2022.
 

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Wildlife biologists should absolutely have a very important seat at the table. I think right now their seat is mostly token, where it should probably be at the head of the table. Any amendment that is not biologically sound should be rejected summarily. Our biologists should be able to sign off on all wildlife management policy decisions, or we shouldn't do them.

I do not, however, think that all wildlife and hunter management rulemaking authority should be vested in a local biologist.
We have had more than a few discussions over the years about what can be done about the "Wildlife Board" problem. While many answers are not easy, there are 2 acts of reform I would like to see.

1. I have always felt it was idiotic that the DWR head is a nonvoting member of the Wildlife board. I am of the opinion that he should be a voting member.

2. I also believe that the section head of the regulation/action under discussion, in this case Covy, should also be allowed a vote on the action under his/her purview.

These simple actions would allow a true voice for the biologists in the know, but also provide the "checks and balances" some guys are demanding.
 

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UTAH DIVISION OF WILDLIFE RESOURCES

STATEWIDE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR ELK

I. PURPOSE OF THE PLAN

A. General

The statewide elk management plan provides overall guidance and direction for Utah's elk

management program. This plan briefly describes general information on elk natural history,

management, habitat, and population status. This statewide elk management plan was revised by

a 20 person advisory committee. The committee was diverse and had representation from: the

Utah Wildlife Board, 5 Regional Advisory Councils, Brigham Young University, Rocky

Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Utah Bowman's Association, US

Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Farm Bureau, Cooperative Wildlife

Management Unit Association, Utah Guides and Outfitters, Utah State Legislature, private

landowners, livestock permittees, public at large, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources


(UDWR). This group met five times from June 2 to August 11, 2015. The committee identified

components of the last elk plan that were working well and areas that could be improved upon,

and then developed goals, objectives, and strategies to address those management issues.

B. Dates Covered

The elk plan was approved by the Wildlife Board on December 2, 2015 and will be in effect until

December 2022.
Now if only the WB would honor the recommendations made here...
 

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Make no mistake, I don’t always love what the deer and elk committees have recommended. But at least they followed a legitimate process.

Catherder, I like those proposed changes. I could get on board with that.
 

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I am seeing a troubling trend in the WB Meetings held via remote communication & the DWR/public not in physical attendance. It appears to me that the WB is becoming more and more emboldened in imposing their own individual agendas and in this last meeting they did so without much hesitation. I've participated in a number of meetings in "the process" and I've never heard the phrases "I'm not in favor of that..." or "I don't like that..." or "I can't get behind that..." more frequently in a meeting in regards to a DWR recommendation. I think that some individuals on the WB are feeling far too comfortable and confident on these remote communication calls sitting in their comfy home offices surrounded by their taxidermy not seeing all the public and DWR faces that they are making decisions on behalf of. At least when the meetings were face to face the Wildlife Board had to look into the faces of the DWR folks and general public in attendance before disregarding them with their motions and votes.

I really don't like the trajectory that these remote meetings have taken.
 

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I am seeing a troubling trend in the WB Meetings held via remote communication & the DWR/public not in physical attendance. It appears to me that the WB is becoming more and more emboldened in imposing their own individual agendas and in this last meeting they did so without much hesitation. I've participated in a number of meetings in "the process" and I've never heard the phrases "I'm not in favor of that..." or "I don't like that..." or "I can't get behind that..." more frequently in a meeting in regards to a DWR recommendation. I think that some individuals on the WB are feeling far too comfortable and confident on these remote communication calls sitting in their comfy home offices surrounded by their taxidermy not seeing all the public and DWR faces that they are making decisions on behalf of. At least when the meetings were face to face the Wildlife Board had to look into the faces of the DWR folks and general public in attendance before disregarding them with their motions and votes.

I really don't like the trajectory that these remote meetings have taken.
"surrounded by their taxidermy". lol. Thanks for the chuckle this morning. :grin:

I agree that virtual meetings are not a great substitute. Hopefully the hysteria will end soon and the next meeting will be in person.
 

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I really don't like the trajectory that these remote meetings have taken.
I don't necessarily disagree with you.

Just don't get your hopes up for going back to in-person meetings. Heck, I'll be surprised to see the State ever go back to working from the office. One thing corona has taught many agencies is that paying for buildings is expensive.

(I can't hardly believe that the Forest Service began construction on the new office in Cedar City! They'll get it finished, and it will sit empty because all the employees will be working from home...)
 
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