Monday, April 03, 2006

Virginia DGIF

For this next story, I need some context about the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. I'm a recent transplant to Virginia, and it's sad this is my exposure to a gov't agency that I know employs many hard working, intelligent individuals.

First the safari and the audit. Second, the Lewis Ginter Beaver. And third and the most devestating the Maymont Bears. Here's a great site which chronicles the events of the tragedy. Unrelated cases, but they add up to one cluster of a department.

Now for my 2 cents. I'm working on a construction site that was closed for a few weeks. When we returned, a pair of killdeer had nested and laid a clutch of four eggs.

Not wanting to plow over the birds, I wanted to know the best way to move the nest and have the parents still recognize and accept the nest. I didn't have a phone number to the VDGIF, but I did have a few fishing magazines with ads for conservation groups. After trying a few numbers, I got in contact with a man with experience with quail. He gave me some great general info on moving bird nests and a funny story about his friend succesfully moving an owl nest. He also supplied me with the VDGIF's phone number.

I made several calls and left a few messages to the VDGIF. None of my messages were returned. Tired of leaving messages when we needed to work, I dialed the VDGIF receptionist. I was a bit suprised when I asked for a biologist in the ornithology department that the receptionist sounded confused, no worries, I explained my scenario and was assured a biologist would contact me.

And a biologist surely did contact me. He informed me that the killdeer was a protected bird. Really? And started informing me I needed permits to move the nest the 30-50 yards I wanted to move it so it was out of harms way. Nevermind the symantics I was interested in physically moving the nest and if the parent birds would still care for the eggs; he said he'd call me back and let me know about the permit, which should be easy to obtain... over the weekend. He said he'd call back with more info now that he knew the situation.

Well he did call back, and he then told me it was out of his jurisdiction and that I needed to talk with an agent U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and gives me contact info. Really? So I call this gentleman at the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and explain the situation and he asks, "He had you call me? Why?" I'm scratching my head too. So he tells it's fine to move the nest and gives me some info on the best way to do so and all works out in the end.

I'm amazed once again by the VDGIF.


Blogger Ron Southern said...

That's hilarious! A good story, and unfortunately true.

Mon Apr 03, 11:14:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dustin said...

As you know, Steve, I work for a private company whose clients are state agencies. Your story doesn't surpise me a bit. It's VERY normal.

By the way, it looks like I finally have this password bullshit straightened out, and have accepted your invitation.

Tue Apr 04, 05:11:00 PM 2006  

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