Open the WDFW/Tribal Co-manager North of Falcon meetings to the Public
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The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has long held that transparency with the public is essential to the process of managing our fisheries. Yet, the public has been prohibited from attending the meetings held between State employees and Tribal Co-managers wherein fishing seasons are set. These secret meetings result in policies and laws being adopted behind closed doors outside the view of the public in a manner contrary to our democratic form of government.
The intent of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) is to insure that meetings where decisions are reached that effect the citizens be open to the public. Even more pressing is the need for transparency and openness with the people of this State to insure confidence in the co-management process. The co-managers refusal to allow the public access to these meetings has created a perception of mis-deeds and fosters mis-trust in our public servants and the treaty tribes of this state.
Transparency is the only means in which WDFW and tribal governments can restore the trust and confidence of the public in the co-management of fish and wildlife in the state.
WDFW and the tribes need to cease hiding behind closed doors and open these secret meetings to the public. Transparency in these negotiations is essential for the public, and the fisheries.
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