Page 1 of 1

North of Falcon: A Dismal Failure in Co-Management

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 8:24 am
by Bay wolf
Sports fishermen have yet again taken a big hit in the 2019 North of Falcon. Particularly hard hit was the sportsmen and women who enjoy the fisheries of Puget Sound. Many people in our sport rarely dig into the mechanics of the North of Falcon process. I dare say, many don't even know what it is. Rather they rely on WDFW and the Commission to "represent" the sports citizen in these negotiations and hope for the best. Unfortunately, they truth is much, much darker. I invite you to take a look at this excerpt from an article that appeared in the Northwest Marine Trade Association site. This is a first hand account of just how broken the current North of Falcon process is.

Re: North of Falcon: A Dismal Failure in Co-Management

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 11:18 pm
by TrackerPro16
Well, to play the devils advocate, I didn't really see anything in the reading that convinced me there was a "failure" or 'diabolical plot'. Mostly I see 'We don't like it'.

Re: North of Falcon: A Dismal Failure in Co-Management

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 10:51 am
by Bay wolf
1. The WDFW Commission, IS subject to the States Open Public Meeting Act (OPMA)

2. The Commission delegates its authority to the Department to conduct negotiations,adopt,and amend rules on its behalf . The OPMA follows that delegation since the Department staff now become an extension of the Commission.This is no different than a city council forming a sub-committee. The sub-committee is still subject to the OPMA, otherwise every city council in the state would just form sub-committees to get around letting the public know what they are doing.

3. The Department staff conduct Public and Non-Public meetings during the North of Falcon Process.

4. It is ONLY in the Non-public meetings however that they agree to and set salmon seasons, closures, harvest numbers and other items that become the "regulations" that are in the CRC! The LOAF is published.

5. After the agreements are reached, there is no public oversight of any real meaning since the CRC is already done and the public can't make any changes.

This is an excerpt from the States Open Public Meetings Act:

A "meeting" under the OPMA occurs when a quorum of a city council, board of county commissioners, or other governing body (including certain kinds of committees) gathers with the collective intent of transacting the governing body's business. In order to be valid, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations, orders, and directives must be adopted at meetings conducted in compliance with the OPMA.

Here are a couple of statements from an eye witness that traveled all the way to California that highlight lawlessness. Notice these two statements:

"Those who spent valuable time traveling to California arrived only to hear that WDFW decided to close places like the San Juan Islands " Decided with who? Not the public. THE TRIBES in CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS!

"However, providing creative and constructive input to WDFW over a matter of hours in a hotel backroom as agency leaders and staff are almost completely overwhelmed by continuous meetings with the co-managers was frustrating and unsatisfactory."
Again, WDFW Staff was meeting with the Tribes, no public allowed. They then came back and said, here is what we decided!

The Devil is in the details. Clearly you can see that the Department violates the OPMA with every closed door meeting where they are agreeing to rules that we have to live with. All without the required Public Oversight.

Re: North of Falcon: A Dismal Failure in Co-Management

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:50 am
by TrackerPro16
The WDFW and The Tribes have been working with each other and using and working with science to set limits, check fish returns, and check water conditions for a whole lot of years now. I have lived and fished in Washington my entire life and can see the improvements, concerns and efforts of the WDFW AND The Tribes.
I am guessing most of the wanting to 'get into the meetings' has more to do with cutting down the Tribes share (Which they have an agreement with the Government for) and increasing the commercial or sport fishermen share more than anything else. Sure, everyone wants more. I understand that.
The other side is if you are having a meeting to set limits/seasons, and are the ones that have the science and facts you have collected in front of you and have done all the work, I am not sure it would be 'helpful' to have an 'outside' group sticking their nose in the middle of it. Particularly if the message is pretty much 'We want more' all the time.
Working with the Tribes IS working with another country, basically. I am not sure the public 'has' to be allowed to be there for those, but either way, we put in our input when we can but the science is what I believe drives most of the rules we have these days.

Re: North of Falcon: A Dismal Failure in Co-Management

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 12:13 pm
by Bay wolf
I respect your opinion. And I understand that there are a some people who feel the same way. Unfortunately, doing the same thing over and over only results in the same thing. I can assure you. This is not about just wanting to "get more". It's about preventing that from happening, since that is exactly what has, and is going on!

I could go into a long explanation about the permitting process, fast tracking, leverage used, but I get it, some people just want to trust that those who are supposed to be doing the right thing, are.

Unfortunately, first hand knowledge and eyewitness accounts just don't prove that out.