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Posted by herpmaineiac on April 23, 2003 at 03:14:13:
In Reply to: Looking for Ethical Herpers in N. Central California posted by erik loza on April 22, 2003 at 20:09:04:
California Department of Fish and Game (which monitors this site) is so underfunded, the Govenor cut the budget so that almost 50 warden positions can not be filled. The department is largely under the control of special interest groups such as California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wild Turkey Federation that the herp community has no voice and there is little enforcement going on. 300 wardens for the whole state, can you guess where the enforcement is going on? Let me tell you, LA, San Diego, and the SF Bay Area. Why? Because they are the population centers and where patrol is most fruitful for the department. DFG has to patrol the pet stores also remember.
I've met so highly ethical herpers in the last year. I've et some really bad characters also. Let me tell you it's hard to tell the difference until you see how they interact with not only you but with others. If they are screwing other people it's only a matter of time until they screw you. I do believe the majority of most groups of people are honest it's the small group that you have to watch out for. It is really up to the ethical herpers to police the unethical herpers. 1-888-CAL-TIPS is a number we should all have memorized so that we can turn in not only herp poachers but all poachers and polluters.
There is a stigma within DFG that herpers are somewhat unethical and I echo the concern that herps populations could be damaged beyond repair without the state even knowing because they don't have the biologist and the wardens that they need to safe guard our fauna. Maybe if we could pay for a biologist like say California Waterfowl does we would have better herp laws and a knowledge of actual populations.