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Berens Lake ON

Cutting Game Wardens hours

17 posts in this topic

From the Star Tribune HSOforum:

"Cutting CO hours

The state's huge budget deficit and resulting proposed cuts at the Legislature could affect the work of the state's 200 DNR conservation officers.

Officers are concerned that the 400 extra hours, including overtime, that they usually get each year will be cut, reducing their ability to enforce game, fish and recreation laws.

Bills in the Legislature have proposed 6 percent to 7 percent cuts to the DNR Enforcement Division's general fund allocation.

"We're concerned that we're not going to be able to answer all the calls, especially on busy opening weekends,'' said Julie Siems, an officer and head of the Conservation Officers Association, the union representing the officers.

Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, agreed. "Without that time in the field, without them responding to calls, it will be a real handicap,'' he said. "I'd wish they'd look at other areas to cut.''

If the state isn't going to give us more wardens paying the few that we have OT would seem to be a cost savings...

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Good thing we vote as sportsmen to raise our taxes during these times and they take a huge dump on us by cutting enforcement. One step forward two steps back. mad

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The legislature is cutting across the board, not just the DNR budget, although the Star and Sickle leads you to believe the DNR is the only one getting singled out.

Cutting spending is a good thing as it forces some priorities to be established in the various department's budgets and it's been a long time coming. The spending and frivolous expenditures we've seen over the years need to stop.....as do the increase in taxes and fees that have been dumped on us (some electively....) to pay for said wasteful spending.

I've got a solution to their concern regarding having enough personnel on opening weekend: ELIMINATE THE OPENING WEEKEND!!!!

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I've got a solution to their concern regarding having enough personnel on opening weekend: ELIMINATE THE OPENING WEEKEND!!!!

Oh dude! That'll do it. Talk about a hard left turn. gringrin

Or is that a right turn? After all, having no closed fishing season at all was how it was in the beginning, so advocating for no closed season fits the definition of conservative. gringringrin

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I believe the majority of veiwers on this site pretty much govern themselves on their actions, thus raising the question with limited CO power. Make the penalties much stiffer? Doesn't do much good for us to try and pick up the slack in manpower of CO's if we can't write out a citation, and a TIP call may go un-answered. So I say, they do need to get more brutal with the "punishments".

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Well you know you can't cut any management, it always has to be the ones that actually perform a function. Would be better to consolidate management and keep the service and field staff, but that is just not the way things happen.

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I can tell you from the numerous states I have lived in....none of them make the violation/fine a per fish basis. If the fines were stiffened AND on a basis that the number of fish you were in violation was the multiplier put in front of the fine.....that would make some think twice. I witnessed a group of three guys that were cited for being eighty eight fish over the limit. The fine was the same as it was for one fish over.

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Quote:
Cutting spending is a good thing as it forces some priorities to be established in the various department's budgets and it's been a long time coming.

I agree but unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Remember when Gov. Pawlenty first came into office and in order to meet his campaign plan his budget plan was to cut state spending to local governments? What were the first things threatened to be cut by the local governments? Critical services like fire, ambulance, and police but I would guess that they made sure to keep the city street sweepers in action. They have to make things seem worse than they really are so we the people will dig deeper into our pockets without whining too bad. We are gullible that way.

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What were the first things threatened to be cut by the local governments? Critical services like fire, ambulance, and police but I would guess that they made sure to keep the city street sweepers in action.

Of course the are going to say they need to cut police and fire, who cares if they say the have to cut a city gardener or two and plant less rose gardens in front of city hall. It is a game, add some drama scare the carp out of people and they will agree to cough up more money. And then of course there is the kids education card that always comes up.

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You nailed it Bob. When cuts have to be made it is common to highlight "visible" cuts so the public notices and hopefully complains.

Hack journalism (like the Strib) is only too happy to oblige by reporting the agency or school distict message (talking points) rather than do any real investigation, or ask a few hard questions. Maybe a good reporter would ask to see the rest of the budget (public information) and ask why fire, ambulance or police were selected over, say assistant diversity coordinator positions.

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Wade Joseph said, "I can tell you from the numerous states I have lived in....none of them make the violation/fine a per fish basis. If the fines were stiffened AND on a basis that the number of fish you were in violation was the multiplier put in front of the fine.....that would make some think twice. I witnessed a group of three guys that were cited for being eighty eight fish over the limit. The fine was the same as it was for one fish over."

In Minnesota the base fine for the first fish over is $50 then $20 for each fish after, plus restitution which can be from $500-$5 depending on what type and size of fish.

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So they are cutting overtime? With what they pay for overtime, couldn't they have brought in another CO or 2 cheaper?

I agree with Upnorth, whenever they get the cuts passed down they cut the jobs that are more visible to the public.

I think now more than ever, we need to police ourselves and get the TIP number in your phones. If you see violations, get the information and pass it on.

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Why cant they take some of the staff from the bloated Health and Human Services and have them work the field? After all, their doing such a fine job of fixing/curing welfare, homelessness, hunger, spousal abuse, teen pregnancy, gang banging, gang raping, child molesters, juvenile crime, etc.,.etc,.etc.,

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IMO...a few less wardens won't hurt too much as long as there are EXTREMELY stiff penalties for law breakers. Loss of vehicles and boats should accompany fines.

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So they are cutting overtime? With what they pay for overtime, couldn't they have brought in another CO or 2 cheaper?

Actually, it is usually cheaper to pay overtime. Most people just think about the wages that are paid. But when you being a new employee on you are paying wages, insurance, unemployment insurance, and pensions. I might have it wrong here, but this is how it was explained to me once.

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