This may sound like a world-record mass of acronymic
gibber, but bear with me. The formation of this new panel of sorts may
spell out better cooperation between conservationists and the Legislature
in matters concerned with wildlife and natural resources.
Sounds kind of goofy, eh? Well, that is just a
start. Maybe I can further complicate it. Or maybe it will make some sense--even
a lot--of sense.
How and where to start?
Well, as this column has sounded like a broken-record
on the matter for “yeah, these many years,” it would seem that the place
to start would be do an instant replay that explains that there is a dire
need for good cooperation between the two sides--conservationists and legislators.
You see, as this column has believed (since they knocked the corners off
square wheels in the Neolithic Age) the members of the Legislature at large
and over the years have shown a marked disregard for some matters involved
in natural and wildlife resources. Occasionally the Legislature has done
some good things for these important elements, but they have been the exception,
rather than the rule. In short, we (the conservationists) can’t always
count our chickens before they are hatched. We still can’t do that, but
maybe we are getting closer.
The acronym for this old organization was (FWCC)
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee. It was/is made up of individuals
from conservation groups of the state and employees of the Department of
Natural Resources (DNR). The big rub was/is the fact that members of this
panel can’t be involved because of the obvious when consideration of some
real meat issues are hand. At quarterly meetings DNR representatives simply
did not participate. Cumbersome, and this condition eliminates some fine
To circumvent this situation, this new organization
was formed (FWAC) Fish and Wildlife Action Committee, a group that embraces
the organizations of the FWCC, but not those who are DNR employees.
So now the FWAC and the FWCC meet separately without
fear of political reprisal from the DNR’s political brass.
The newly formed FWAC is co-chaired by John Goss,
a former director of the DNR who was a political victim when the chair-sitter
of the governor changed, and who now serves as president of the Indiana
Wildlife Federation (IWF), and Jack Corpuz, Indiana president of Pheasants
Currently, the membership of the new FWAC is about
the same as the FWCC, not counting the DNR reps. This may, or may not,
change in the future. It all depends on the thinking of members. I can
see how greater representation might both help and hinder the cause.
However, no matter how that goes in the future,
the formation of the FWAC seems to be a step that was long overdue. Time
alone will tell the story.
I have had the opportunity this winter to observe
pileated woodpeckers at close range, and at least one of the three birds
I have seen has thrown me for a coloration loop that is baffling.
One bird I see--the sexes are look-alikes--has
the beautiful black body, but at the side (it seems a strange feather starts
at about the point on the side where the wing joins the body) it is about
half-an-inch wide, and runs down to the tail. It may only cover the body.
It is a pale maroon, not red and not brown. It
contrasts with the black very well.
It makes me wonder if this color occurs only occasionally
or if my close encounters simply make it visible. Perhaps others have observed
WHO’S RUNNING WHOM
Out-of-state gun interest is trying to round up
Hoosier front-enders to get more loads added to what they will probably
get at the next Conservation Commission meeting. It seems to me that muzzleloader
enthusiasts are already getting more than shotgunners and that our guys
are handling this issue very well (without their “help”).