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CA Probe Finds Millions Earmarked for Wildlife Preservation Being Spent Elsewhere

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March 13, 2013

CA Probe Finds Millions Earmarked for Wildlife Preservation Being Spent Elsewhere

By Chad Love

As if California sportsmen don't have enough to worry about, an internal audit conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has revealed that millions of dollars meant for wildlife have instead been going to pretty much everything but wildlife.

From this story in the Los Angeles Times:
Over the last decade, millions of public dollars intended for wildlife preservation areas were spent off the books on state office needs, equipment and building construction, among other items, officials said Thursday. Last year alone, at least $1.7 million was diverted from California's Wildlife Restoration Fund to pay for office operations, routine bills and gift cards for official use, according to Mike Taugher, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The irregularities were found in an internal department investigation.

According to the story, it's not known exactly how much of the earmarked funds were diverted to other uses, which included $5,000 in Home Depot gift cards that could not be accounted for. Ag lease payments on 50 of California's state wildlife areas were also never put into the fund — that money was funneled into other accounts not part of the state treasury. The probe is, as they say, ongoing.

Comments (5)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

This crap goes on all the time. My last position with the US National Park Service was at a unit in Minnesota that received some of the stimulus money Obama earmarked for fighting invasive species in the Great Lakes drainage. At this unit the funds were used to pay for fancy alternative fuel car rentals and to build an arboretum that had NOTHING to do with invasive species. I was even robbed of my uniform allowance. My recommendation was that washing stations be installed at the boat launches at this remote park. No money for that though. But it made no sense to tell visitors that they needed to wash their boats and trailers to prevent spread of invasives if there wasn't anyplace to do it! The fund earmarked salary enough to cover my wage for six months. I was let go after two and not replaced. That money also found its way to other pet uses that were entirely unrelated to the war against invasive species.

This crap goes on all the time. As long as no one is sticking the money DIRECTLY into their own pockets then it's supposed to be alright. It's an impossible way to run an agency stealing funds here and there whenever needed or the opportunity avails itself. Also, I will add that the federal funding strategies do not encourage thrift. If you don't spend the money budgeted for a particular category (say office equipment or building maintenance) during the fiscal year, you can count on seeing that budget reduced the next year and it's almost impossible to ever get it increased again. So, at end of the year the push is on to spend anything that's not used. And I mean PUSH! I would get direct orders to spend everything in the budget and be creative if necessary. So there I am wasting hours of my valuable paid time trying to find ways to waste money. Brother!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

What is this country turning into?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Hi...

Politicians + bureaucrats + money = STOP, THIEF...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

This wanton waste has gone from ridicoulus to absolutley crimnal. Has every goverment nut job comepletly lost it? At what point do us poor peasant sportsmen drag out the pitchforks and torches and take our government back? (I was speaking figuritivley there ATFE, please don't raid me). Our politicians have gotten completley sauce fried on "free money". We either get this under control, or we loose everything...everything.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Another example of why we need LESSER GOVT not bigger, and more intrusive govt. and more spending. An example of why fewer, and fewer folks trust govt. at all. Benefit the private sector, and see donations going DIRICTLY to where it is intended, not financing of a bunch of bureaucrats! Yet we have folks on this thread, as well as those that vote in bigger, and bigger govt. and more corruption, and waste.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

This crap goes on all the time. My last position with the US National Park Service was at a unit in Minnesota that received some of the stimulus money Obama earmarked for fighting invasive species in the Great Lakes drainage. At this unit the funds were used to pay for fancy alternative fuel car rentals and to build an arboretum that had NOTHING to do with invasive species. I was even robbed of my uniform allowance. My recommendation was that washing stations be installed at the boat launches at this remote park. No money for that though. But it made no sense to tell visitors that they needed to wash their boats and trailers to prevent spread of invasives if there wasn't anyplace to do it! The fund earmarked salary enough to cover my wage for six months. I was let go after two and not replaced. That money also found its way to other pet uses that were entirely unrelated to the war against invasive species.

This crap goes on all the time. As long as no one is sticking the money DIRECTLY into their own pockets then it's supposed to be alright. It's an impossible way to run an agency stealing funds here and there whenever needed or the opportunity avails itself. Also, I will add that the federal funding strategies do not encourage thrift. If you don't spend the money budgeted for a particular category (say office equipment or building maintenance) during the fiscal year, you can count on seeing that budget reduced the next year and it's almost impossible to ever get it increased again. So, at end of the year the push is on to spend anything that's not used. And I mean PUSH! I would get direct orders to spend everything in the budget and be creative if necessary. So there I am wasting hours of my valuable paid time trying to find ways to waste money. Brother!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

What is this country turning into?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Hi...

Politicians + bureaucrats + money = STOP, THIEF...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

This wanton waste has gone from ridicoulus to absolutley crimnal. Has every goverment nut job comepletly lost it? At what point do us poor peasant sportsmen drag out the pitchforks and torches and take our government back? (I was speaking figuritivley there ATFE, please don't raid me). Our politicians have gotten completley sauce fried on "free money". We either get this under control, or we loose everything...everything.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Another example of why we need LESSER GOVT not bigger, and more intrusive govt. and more spending. An example of why fewer, and fewer folks trust govt. at all. Benefit the private sector, and see donations going DIRICTLY to where it is intended, not financing of a bunch of bureaucrats! Yet we have folks on this thread, as well as those that vote in bigger, and bigger govt. and more corruption, and waste.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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