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Washington Changes to Raffle/Auction Program
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Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife are accepting comments on proposed changes to the current raffle/auction program. Below you find both the WAFNAWS position statement on proposed changes to the raffle/auction program as well as the results of a survey related to our Rocky raffle. WAFNAWS encourages you to send your personal comments regarding the proposed changes. I encourage you to get your comments in no later than November 12, 2009.

Yours in Conservation,

Glen A. Landrus
WAFNAWS President


Changes to the raffle/auction program can be found at:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html

Your comments can be sent via email to the following:

commission@dfw.wa.gov

director@dfw.wa.gov

wildthing@dfw.wa.gov



The board of directors of the Washington Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (WAFNAWS) is adamantly opposed to any expansion of the current raffle/auction program for the reasons listed below.

• WAFNAWS has been requesting for the better part of this decade for full accountability of the current raffle/auction program. To date, minimal accounting of bighorn money has been provided by WDFW and no accountability for other big game species. Full transparency must be achieved before any expansion of the program should be considered.

o WAFNAWS solution: WDFW needs to do a full accounting of revenue and expenditures for each species before considering expansion of the program.

• Section 41 of SB 1778, which was adopted in the spring 2009 legislative session, removes the legal designation of funds raised for each respective species to be spent on that particular species. The raffle/auction program was sold to sportsmen a dozen years ago on the premise that “sheep money is for sheep” and “elk money is for elk”, etc. Hunter-conservationists support the raffles/auctions with the understanding that his/her donation is going back to that particular species. WAFNAWS supports section 6 of proposed WAC 232-28-292 and section 13 of proposed WAC 232-28-290. See attached survey results.

o WAFNAWS solution: Through legislative action correct the language that was changed in SB 1778

• Access to current raffle/auction funds is cumbersome and inefficient. Spending limits on the account limit biennium expenditures to a total of $250,000. Large scale projects for a particular species in one fiscal year could result in limited access to other accounts (ie an expensive elk research project could limit access to emergency funds needed in a bighorn disease epidemic). At the same time, the accounts need to remain ear-marked for each particular species—especially in times of a budget crisis.

o WAFNAWS solution: By moving all raffle/auction funds out of department coffers and into a trust fund co-managed by department personnel as well as representatives of the conservation groups that are charged with marketing the special tags.

• WAFNAWS opposes all changes found in proposed WAC 232-28-283. The current raffle expansion proposal is extreme and hasty. The limited time frame for seeking comments before action as well as the general timing of the proposal (during the peak of the hunting season) warrants a postponement until spring 2010. WAFNAWS fully realizes the budget challenges currently faced by the department, however, we encourage the department to manage within current means until further research occurs.

o WAFNAWS solution: Continue working with those conservation groups that are involved with the auction/raffle program throughout the winter and present a more thoroughly researched plan at the April 2010 commission meeting.

Raffle/auction permit programs are highly controversial and exclusive by nature. Although the funds generated are important for enhancing big-game programs, it is also imperative the department maintain the integrity of the program through transparency and accountability. WAFNAWS will consider supporting future expansion once the bullets above are addressed.

Yours in Conservation,
Glen A. Landrus--WAFNAWS President

Mike Vincent--WAFNAWS Treasurer


Auction/Raffle Survey
Washington Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep


Washington FNAWS conducted a survey via email from October 24 until October 30, 2009. A total of 208 emails were sent to online customers of the 2009 Washington Rocky Mtn Bighorn raffle conducted by WAFNAWS. Fifteen emails (7.2%) were returned due to incorrect email addresses. In the seven days of collecting information, 49 individuals responded to the survey (25.4%). The purpose of the survey was to find out what motivates people in supporting the Washington Rocky raffle as well as what impact the change found in section 41 of SB 1778 could have on future support.

The first question asked was, “What are some of your motivations for purchasing Rocky Mtn Bighorn raffle tickets in Washington?”
• 47 of 49 participants replied to this question
• 43 of 47 responses (91.5%) related to the opportunity to hunt Rocky Mtn bighorns
• 27 of 47 responses (57.4%) also related the value of assisting conservation efforts

The second question asked was, “How important is it to you that all Rocky raffle revenue is spent on Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in Washington? Select only one response.”
• 49 of 49 participants replied to this question
• 41 of 49 responses (83.7%) marked “Very Important”
• 6 of 49 responses (12.2%) marked “Somewhat Important”
• 1 of 49 responses (2%) marked “Indifferent”
• 1 of 49 responses (2%) marked “Not Very Important”
• 0 of 49 responses (0%) marked “Not Important”

The final question asked was, “If the funds generated from auction/raffle permits in Washington were no longer designated by law to be spent on that particular species (ie sheep raffle funds could be spent on other species projects) how would that impact your support of future auction/raffles in the state? Select only one response.”
• 49 of 49 participants replied to this question
• 0 out of 49 responses (0%) marked, “I would support the auction/raffle even more”
• 0 out of 49 responses (0%) marked, “I would support the auction/raffle slightly more”
• 19 out of 49 responses (38.8%) marked, “My support would remain the same”
• 14 out of 49 responses (28.6%) marked, “I would support the auction/raffle less”
• 16 out of 49 responses (32.7%) marked, “I would no longer support the auction/raffle”

Based on the responses from the survey, WAFNAWS concludes that:
• While nearly all Rocky raffle customers’ purchase tickets with the goal to win a sheep hunt, over half also recognize the importance of supporting conservation efforts.
• It is very important to nearly all customers that Rocky raffle revenue is spent on Rocky Mtn bighorns.
• If funds were no longer specifically ear-marked 60% of customers would support future raffles less or not at all. None of the respondents will support the raffle more.
 
Posts: 95 | Location: Clarkston, WA | Registered: November 21, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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According to the information on the WDFW web page (link in original post), written comments are due by November 9, 2009.

So please send comments immediately if you can.
 
Posts: 1168 | Location: Colorado | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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