February 3, 2011

Even sponsor of plan to move Fish & Wildlife enforcement to state patrol admits her bill is dead

The bill that would move Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers to the State Patrol got shot down in the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s obvious there’s no support for this bill,” admitted committee Chair Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of the 10th District, sponsor of SB 5249.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife, sheriffs and police chiefs and user groups all opposed the bill.

Mark James, a Fish and Wildlife officer and member of WFSE/AFSCME Local 881, said fish and wildlife enforcement “is not a good fit with the State Patrol.”

“Their management structure has no familiarity with fish and wildlife protection,” James said. “Our missions are vastly different. Regardless of any assurances, we believe our officers would be diverted from our current mission to other routine State Patrol duties.”

“Our Fish and Wildlife officers are dedicated and uniquely trained to protect our resources….To get merged into an agency that has no stake in it we think is going to absolutely be a detriment to our natural resources.”

No comments: