Tony Chambers' letter on the red tape and layers of bureaucracy within the DNR is spot on. Like Tony was with bobcat, I was getting impatient on otter. The state knew they had issues and those issues were negatively impacting the resource. In 2013, over 30 percent of the otter harvested had to be turned in as incidental harvest, yet trappers couldn't get the needed research prioritized through the layers of bureaucracy.
The research on bobcat was funded on a $3 permit fee increase so I mirrored that same increase for otter in my original Conservation Congress resolution that I submitted last year. Now somewhere along the way, that $3 per permit fee increase turned into a $5 increase and the DNR decided to propose hiring another layer of management for four highly skilled researchers.
When you have a new need for similar work in the business world, you hire another worker, not a supervisor. The fully loaded cost of a supervisor is about $100,000. Even if they manage four researchers, that is still an additional $25,000 cost per area.
At $3 per applicant and roughly 15,000 applicants, we would have $45,000 for research. With that new position, we eat up 55 percent of our research funding for a management position. This is not wise use of our money and was never my resolution's intent. I am with Tony. We need less layers of management within the DNR so our money can remain in the hands of the researchers doing the critical research. The views above are my own personal views and not a reflection of any organization.