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Posted by Elaine on March 26, 2008 at 18:01:05:

In Reply to: Elaine / DF&G posted by dawhale on March 26, 2008 at 17:21:34:

I understand your frustration, but Splash is the wrong guy to vent at. (He already took his share, I still crack up just thinking about it).

More appropriate might be the Fish and Game commission. They guys Splash and his fellow wardens take their direction from.

I went to a F & G commission hearing and did a very short presentation on that wretched killing machine (gill net) that somebody abandoned in the channel. Attending the meeting was a very educational experience and I have deliberately been silent while I have been thinking it over. Whatever follows is strongly influenced by my personal impressions of that F & G meeting. I probably haven't thought enough yet to be able to be completely PC.

They have public forums at some of the F & G meetings. Anyone can go and speak up. Just be forewarned. Unless you study the system and really know how to use it before you go, you will be left well, stunned and flabbergasted.

My experience with the F & G meeting system was strongly reminiscent of something that I think you might have found in England in maybe the 16th century. There is this public line up and you get to say a three minutes piece in front of the feudal lords. Honest, that was what it seemed like as a totally uninitiated participant/observer.

They have exceptionally well rehearsed people representing just about every special interest that you can think of who show up in the line-up, as well as a few well rehearsed nut cases (at least from my perspective). You have to have your presentation polished for three minutes and it has to be very deliberate and to the point. If there is anything presented as "food for thought", I'm not sure they quite know how to deal with it. It seems to confuse them because they aren't sure where you are coming from, and in the three minute time frame they don't have time to figure you out or do much of any thinking. Professional lobbyist types seem to fare the best.

I don't think they hear much from recreational divers. Recreational divers and just John Q Public, and we don't have a lobby. We are at a further disadvantage because recreational divers tend to get hung up on things like dress, ankle weights, solo vs. buddy diving - things that will never bring us together as a group. We are a very diverse subculture where the rare times we shake hands and ask if the other guy is OK tend to be underwater.

If anyone is interested in going to the F&G meetings, I highly encourage you to go and do so to start learning the system. My impression as a first time outsider is that the whole system needs an overhaul, and until it gets one, some things that come out of F & G will continue to be a little strange

My two cents worth.

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