Stop Violent Poaching
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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife does not have the resources to stop horrible poaching. Disturbing photos and video obtained by enforcement officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife show the impact of a particularly brazen group of poachers (http://www.krem.com/news/wdfw-seizes-violent-videos-of-poaching/435963013 "These guys aren't hunters. They're serial poachers. On a scale of one to ten, they're tens," said WDFW Deputy Chief Mike Cenci. "They have no regard for the natural resources they're pursuing. There's no spiritual connection. They just want to kill stuff." Cenci reports he has half the staff he needs, with just 135 officers for the entire state. He blames that officer shortage for not stopping the poachers earlier or catching them in the act. "I need more staff. I absolutely need more staff," he said. The Senate budget adds just $5 million dollars to WDFW funding from the last fiscal year, whereas the Governor and House budgets propose to add $34 million through increased license fees. That's less than a sixth of the funding that's in the budgets put together by Democrats in the state House and Governor Jay Inslee. In fact, the governor's office sent a letter to the Senate expressing concern.
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