Thursday, October 8, 2009

USDA Pilot Worrys About His (Coyote Killing) Job

The idea, it seems, is to clock at least 500 hrs per year for each of their three (3) pilots, "or else" he fears, "it would seem that our services are not needed." So its not really about a "need" to kill coyotes, its a need to clock a certain amount of hours. More needless, senseless killing of animals and more govt waste of taxpayers money.

From the Nevada Board of Agriculture Meeting Minutes;

Mark Jensen is the Administrator for the Division of Resource Protection and State Director, USDA Wildlife Services Program. Mark said he wanted to give a brief program overview. Mark said he has attended all but one Grazing Board meetings between N1, N2, N4 & N6 and other staff attended N3 and then Director Lesperance attended N3 as well.

Just in general from what we’ve seen from the Grazing Boards, is their amount of money that they have available to them that comes back through the grazing fees. Those amounts continue to go down and it is down across the board for all the Grazing Boards. So their ability to cooperate with USDA to pay for the aerial operations that we conduct for coyote control continues to go down. There is nothing they can do about it and I just want to bring that to the attention of the Board that their ability to participate continues to go down as their monies decrease. We appreciate the money that they cooperate with and they continue to support us heavily, but the money they have to spend continues to go down.

We are fully staffed on our pilots. We have three pilots in place. It’s important that we continue to have enough flying time to continue to support these aircraft. Our aviation center looks at our aircraft and they try to make sure that we fly each of our aircraft at least 500 hours per year. We are currently meeting that. If we run into continued problems in the future and we go below 500 hours, then somebody,


somewhere is going to look at us and say well maybe they don’t need this airplane in Nevada. We need continued support so we can maintain our program.

I did hire a new budget analyst on the federal side. The budget technician that I have on the federal side is going to be retire April 3rd.

One of main things I would like to say today and I have mentioned this to all the Grazing Boards and you have all heard this from me as well, that right now we are still losing 5 positions in Resource Protection. Forty-two percent of my State workforce is going away. I’ve been shouting this from the rooftop and I’ll do it again, but I want everyone to know, I cannot do this work in Nevada losing 42% of my State workforce. There are going to be big holes in the map where I have nobody there. I cannot do this work at the level we have doing it in the past by losing this amount of staff.

Director Lesperance made comment that he has had numerous meetings with Assemblyman Claborn from Clark County. We are looking at all sorts of ways to get additional funding for this program. In my testimony to the legislature, I indicated that the cattle loss, the economic value of the cattle loss, without additional support or funding, whether it is the cattlemen or other sources, in my estimation will be a 6 million dollar annual loss.

Click on title above for full report, and find this excerpt on pg. 14, para. 9;

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