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Sen. Stuart a one-man wrecking crew for DGIF

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  • Sen. Stuart a one-man wrecking crew for DGIF

    Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Montross/Stafford, is introducing bills in the 2012 Virginia General Assembly that would change the way the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries does things, and not for the better. Here’s a look at them:

    SB 17: The DGIF worked hard to win the title Conservation Police Officer in 2007 for its enforcement staff. With this bill, Stuart wants to change the name back to Game Warden, which doesn’t do a good job of reflecting the duties, responsibilities and abilities of the agency’s enforcement people. It would cost a small fortune to swap all those logos on vehicles and uniforms.

    SB 25: This bill would make it the duty of the governor to appoint the director of the DGIF, replacing the current method of giving that responsibility to the agency’s 11 board members. Stuart’s way would make short-term political appointments more likely, rather than filling the position with a career wildlife manager. This has come up in the past, often the work of people who have a beef with DGIF.

    SB 26: It is a common practice for a Conservation Police Officer to stop a hunter, angler or boater to check licenses, safety equipment and fish or game limits. Not so if this bill is approved. An enforcement officer could make such checks only when there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Bag and catch limits only could be checked after an arrest is made. The bill also would take away the authority of marine police to spot check catch limits of commercial and recreational anglers. This bill would put handcuffs on enforcement officers rather than crooks.

    SB 18: While this bill doesn’t have direct ties to the DGIF, it would adversely impact the management of saltwater resources by removing Virginia’s membership in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact. The compact works for the wellbeing of marine resources through a multi-state, cooperative effort. It moves slower than many recreational fishermen would prefer, but it is not without success, such as last year’s effort to help safeguard menhaden, a vital food source for many sport fish. It would be foolish to boot the compact without having a better system ready to replace it.

  • #2
    The intelagents in the government is depressing.
    2017 Ironman winner
    2019 Polar Bear winner


    • #3
      He probably gets money from the commercial fishing lobby. Less checking more illegal catches.


      • #4
        I hope this gets shot down big time.



        • #5
          I been doing an internship with DGIF this past month they are about as nervous as you are with some of these proposed changes.


          • #6
            I can vouch for the costs of SB 17. I work at Korman Signs (we make and install/apply almost all of the VDGIF decals on their cars and boats) and the prices of the decals is a lot more than most people think. Thats just a waste of money IMO. Good for business though... LOL


            • #7
              I have absolutely no respect for Senator Richard Stuart and the damage he trying to do to our wildlife resources and the DGIF.

              Look at his 2012 bills SB17 (would change CPO back to Game Warden), SB18 (Removes authorization for Virginia's membership in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact. The Compact recommended reducing the commercial take of menhaden based on scientific proof of the declining population of menhaden-the largest menhaden processing plant in Virginia is in Stuart's District), SB25 (would make the Director of the DGIF a direct political appointee of the Governor), SB26 (CPOs would not be able to check your license or your bag), SB126 (Removes from the DGIF the jurisdiction to enforce fishing and boating laws in the waters of Back Bay, and the inlets and navigable waters in the Tidewater counties and cities.), He also submitted 2 amendments to SB30 the Finance bill (these amendments would transfer $5 million dollars from the DGIF to the VMRC) and 2011 bill SB995 (which eliminates fresh water licenses from DGIF and transfers the funds to Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund and the Game Protection Fund.)

              And why would Stuart proposed these bill? See below.

              Elected official fined by judge in hunting case
              BY FRANK DELANO
              RICHMOND--A federal magistrate judge yesterday fined Westmoreland County Supervisor W.W. Hynson Jr. $500 for possessing an untagged goose after a January hunt.
              State Sen. Richard H. Stuart testified that his 11-year-old son shot the goose from a duck blind owned by Hynson at the mouth of Pee Dee Creek, a tributary of the Rappahannock River near Leedstown.
              Stuart said he gave the bird to Hynson "because I didn't want to spend half a day plucking it and preparing it."
              "I was a state prosecutor and I had no idea that you had to tag it," said Stuart, a former Westmoreland commonwealth's attorney.
              Stuart also had no idea that state conservation officers had been watching the blind since Jan. 1, when Officer Frank M. Spuchesi saw about 50 ducks and geese feeding near the blind at the mouth of the creek.
              Spuchesi and Sgt. Richard Goszka then found a boat registered to Hynson with kernels of wheat in its bottom. They testified they also found wheat floating in the water near the blind and wheat on the shore.
              From across the creek at 7 a.m. Jan. 10, the officers videotaped Stuart and Hynson walking through the marsh to the blind, the shotgun blasts that killed one goose on the water and sent three others flying, Stuart's dog retrieving the bird and Stuart wringing the bird's neck when the dog brought it to shore.
              Stuart, who was not charged by the officers, said he did not know the area might have been baited.
              According to Goszka, Hynson told him he had dumped 400 pounds of wheat in areas of the creek around Thanksgiving 2008. Hynson testified that he thought the food was too far away from the blind to be considered baiting.
              Ruling that the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence, Magistrate Judge Dennis W. Dohnal dismissed charges against Hynson of baiting migratory game birds and taking them from a baited area. All of Hynson's charges were misdemeanors with maximum penalties of six months in jail and fines of $15,000.
              Goszka also charged Hynson with having only two personal flotation devices in his boat carrying four people. Hynson pleaded guilty to the charge Jan. 12 in Westmoreland General District Court and paid $141 in fines and costs.
              Hynson also paid a fine in 2008 for violating a federal baiting laws.
              "I have been through enough that I'll never feed another bird," Hynson said as he left the courtroom to go pay his fine.
              Frank Delano: 804/761-4300
              Email: [email protected]


              • #8
                All this for a dang goose, The dang things are crapping all over every golf course,boat dock around. I think the commonwealth could spend tax dollars on more important issues.
                One Lap Race..


                • #9
                  When I was in college, I worked with the maintenance department of Hermitage County Club. Those Canadian geese would crap all over the greens and we had to go out and do the best we could to get it off for the golfers. There was no really good system for doing so. There should be some exception for golf courses which would allow them to to shoot Canadian Geese at any time and donate the meat to the homeless or something.

                  I doubt Stuart's bills will go anywhere.
                  Last edited by PokerFace; 02-25-2012, 08:53 PM.
                  Thank God For Rednecks


                  • #10
                    I think I remember hearing about issues in central park - somewhere in NY - the geese getting out of control. When they said they were going to eradicate them and donate the meat people were up in arms. Resident geese (non migratory) need to be kept in check as well.


                    • #11
                      They're a big problem at airports too. Goose in a jet engine equals catastrophe.


                      • #12
                        Hell atleast he aint no Santorum. Yuck