Help Stop the Decline in Wetland Preservation in California

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Jeff Kerry
151 Callan Ave., #300
San Leandro, Calif. 94577
510 / 483-4211 Bus.
510 / 483-4200 Fax

January 18, 2018

DUCK HUNTING A SPORT HEADED DOWNHILL

STATE, FEDERAL, GOVERNMENT WETLAND MANAGEMENT AND OUR ORGANIZATIONS ARE FAILING CALIFORNIA DUCK HUNTERS BIG TIME.

Despite our past successes such as Duck Stamps, CVPIA water & gigantic fund raisings: OUR DUCK HUNTING SPORT IS CRASHING.

Management and the Quality of our State Wildlife Areas and Federal Refuges continue to rapidly decline. Ongoing problems such as poor management, lack of water for closed zones, waterfowl imprinting habitat, insufficient irrigations & food production can be attributed to lack of will, knowledge and planning. State & Federal wetlands management needs to be much better, more transparent and involve private participation.

State and Federal management areas are largely funded by Federal Duck Stamps & Pitman Robertson Taxes on ammunition and firearms, specifically requiring wetland management and early water to prevent crop depredation. These funds are being constantly delayed, wasted by government bureaucracy, ineptitude, red tape, resulting in poor - declining quality wetlands, less birds attracted to and held in California and plummeting hunter success, discouraging all wetland interest, investment and value.

The lack of government commitment and direction from our organizations is a major reason we are losing our sport.

The California DF&W formerly had a Habitat Committee which provided direction, guidance and oversight to wetlands management. It required: Management Plans for individual fields, irrigations schedules, goals, budgets and final reports showing successes & failures for specific fields, & oversight on all State Wildlife Areas. The committee was eliminated for easier-less stressful government management and accountability for neophyte or retirement-ambitioned managers. Federal wetland management have similarly digressed.

Grizzly Island, Grey Lodge, Upper Butte Basin, Los Banos, Volta, Mendota and other public State Wildlife Areas refuges have had tremendous declines over short periods of time. Much attributable to delays in funding, no or ineffective water management, no effective oversight and or government inaction. The end result is poor habitat, less birds, poor harvests and thousands of unhappy hunters giving up duck hunting. The number one bird harvested on many prized refuges is now the Ring Neck and their harvest numbers are also on the decline.

The general public does not understand that properly maintained wetlands are mandated under the Public Trust Doctrine and is a State and Federal responsibility for public benefit and requires constant public pressure and infighting for protection. A prime requirement if we are to continue to maintain a strong hunter base, private sector investment and commitment on private wetlands.

Reestablishing the CDFW Habitat Committee, would help stop this decline and must be composed of both the State and private sector to review management plans, goals for irrigation - flood-up - disking, burning, mowing schedules & review hunter success and waterfowl use with recommend changes, oversight - hunt programs and end of season reports on all State Wildlife Areas.

CDF&W, USF&W, DU, CWA, and yes - WE DUCK HUNTERS - are allowing our sport to crash! Quality management of public wetland must be our number one priority.

We ask you to distribute this letter and sign this petition, to the State of California Fish & Wildlife Commission, USFWS, the Governor, other legislators, DU & CWA.

Respectfully,

Jeff Kerry

Diamond Life Sponsor & Member of President’s Council of DU, Life Member & Past Senior VP of CWA, Past VP of Grasslands Water District, owner of duck clubs in Merced County, Realtor & Appraiser specializing in duck clubs for 40 years.

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