Westbury wrote:Interesting that you say it would be absurd for the professionals to push a political agenda.
How can you say that with a straight face? Have you been keeping up with the news? It happens at the highest levels of our federal government.
Why can't it happen at the state level?
Let's take mountain lions as an example. The data shows that hunting MLs are good for the deer population, are sustainably able to be hunted and yet a decision maker within the DFW is not down with it because of the optics.
The data didn't mean squat to the decision maker.
See how that works?
Unfortunately, I don't trust the system.
I definitely hear you, but I'm trying to take a more productive perspective. I've spent a lot of time feeling angry and nihilistic about our politics in the past few years, and it feels good sometimes to be indignant, but it doesn't do much to improve the situation. What is the best approach to counter political corruption? Civic engagement. For example, if you believe money and special interests have corrupted our federal government, one solution is supporting politicians who want to reverse Citizens United, ending campaign donations by corporations. Those who would simply say "I don't trust the system" and disengage don't have a say and don't move the needle.
Can we at least agree that we need our fisheries to be managed with appropriate regulations and enforcement? If so, recognize that DFW is that institution. If it hadn't existed, we would be spearing fewer fish, not more. No one is going to "beat" DFW any more than we can overthrow the federal government. All we can do is get more involved, have better conversations and ideas, take a more diplomatic approach, and try to be more persuasive when the facts are in our favor. I agree with those who have said watermen like us have valuable knowledge and experience to share in this process. That's what I'm advocating. Or another way of putting it: if you can't beat them, join them.
The idea that people don't "trust" DFW has come up a few times. I'd encourage you to give them a call sometime and ask about mountain lions or lobster or abalone and see what they have to say. I've been impressed by the knowledge and expertise of the DFW scientists I've talked to. I've been humbled by the complexity of some of these situations and my own lack of understanding. A 5min phone call would have set you straight on the mountain lion situation, for example. If the only place you get your fisheries management information is your Facebook bubble and fishing forums, you're bound to have skewed views. We're living in the age of tribalism and the "us" versus "them" mentality. Try reaching out to "them" sometime and you might see that there's actually a lot of common ground and shared interests.