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Thread: Just for fun

  1. #1
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    Default Just for fun

    There's a person, I hesitate to call them a falconer, on Facebook who has an axe to grind with the evil empire, oh sorry, I mean NAFA. I thought in the spirit of open discussion I'd post his manifesto here. What do you all think?

    P.S. I think he actually meant to write "severe", not sever, as in cut off.


    Alton_BS.jpg
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    At this point, I’m not sure if this whole thing is PLF vs the State of California or if it’s become grumpy falconers vs NAFA. I’ve seen more anti-NAFA rhetoric than I’ve seen progress on any lawsuit. It’s disenchanting to say the least.
    Aaron -- Utah

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    Seems to me that the director at large involved in the Alaska non-resident thing was sanctioned since he is no longer a director.
    While he probably should have made a disclaimer that he was not representing NAFA, there is nothing in the NAFA bylaws which
    prevents an officer from making statements on behalf of local falconers when involved in intra-state politics. Do I not have a say about
    what happens in my state? My state doesn't have non-resident take but then again why would anyone want to come here to trap a
    redtail or a passage gos (master falconers only for residents) when they can do that in other more suitable places anyway? If the issue
    was opened up it would most likely result in the anti-falconry element coming out in force and resident take would be in jeopardy.

    And let's think about this. Directors are volunteers elected by the members. Exactly how is NAFA going to sanction him? Withhold his lucrative
    paycheck? Or maybe this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4yqbLHYbcI
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyRider View Post
    At this point, Iím not sure if this whole thing is PLF vs the State of California or if itís become grumpy falconers vs NAFA. Iíve seen more anti-NAFA rhetoric than Iíve seen progress on any lawsuit. Itís disenchanting to say the least.
    What is really scary is that a lot of falconers do not realize that the PLF lawsuit is really about an agenda that has nothing to do with falconry and that falconers are now pawns in their
    quest to drive politics in a direction that suits them.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    I have to say that I have had frank discussions with myself about the appointment of the NAFA president and vice-president by the board.

    On one hand it goes against my grain to not have a direct say in who is at the helm.

    On the other hand there is a relatively good argument for leaving it the way it is. At the moment the board functions a bit like the electoral college.
    Living in a state with a dozen falconers (on a good day) if we all voted for those offices it is like that states like Texas (nothing against Texans. God bless Texas..... )
    and California would elect those officers and I might as well just not bother voting. Sort of like the people in 95% of New York counties who have their votes for national
    offices negated by the huge population in the NYC.

    It is not a perfect system but then again the alternative has problems too.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkumetz View Post
    I have to say that I have had frank discussions with myself about the appointment of the NAFA president and vice-president by the board.

    On one hand it goes against my grain to not have a direct say in who is at the helm.

    On the other hand there is a relatively good argument for leaving it the way it is. At the moment the board functions a bit like the electoral college.
    Living in a state with a dozen falconers (on a good day) if we all voted for those offices it is like that states like Texas (nothing against Texans. God bless Texas..... )
    and California would elect those officers and I might as well just not bother voting. Sort of like the people in 95% of New York counties who have their votes for national
    offices negated by the huge population in the NYC.

    It is not a perfect system but then again the alternative has problems too.
    I dont think the electoral college analagy applies here very well. Although my understanding is the the board appointed president was a check against hostile control by anti-falconry sorts coming from outside. If so, that seems silly to me because there is no check against a majority of the board being made up of anti-falconry sorts.

    What has happened in the not so distant past is for crony control occur, because the board knew which good ole boy should be appointed despite what the peasant membership might think of the chap. That has not been a problem recently, thankfully. But I have been told that it was so bad in the 80s (a bit before my time in NAFA) that it nearly caused the collapse of NAFA, and likely set up the events that lead to the schism that eventually lead to the creation of the AFC.
    Geoff Hirschi - "It is better to have lightning in the fist than thunder in the mouth"
    Custom made Tail Saver Perches - http://www.myrthwood.com/TieEmHigh/

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    leadership folks in any similar constituent-based member organization are volunteering their time for the benefit of members. What is so disappointing about falconers is the frequency of really challenging personalities who display irrational hostility to leadership. Many of these folks frankly dont have the full picture of facts and context to ground their criticism. By in large volunteer leadership gets extremely pissed and burned out having to deal with really personal attacks. In most cases the irrational criticisms are usually based in political beliefs not falconry interests. If NAFA leadership seems aloof, critics should think about their own personal responsibility in that outcome. Anyone will start to circle the wagons after they hear enough bullets cracking by their ears its human nature.

    If NAFA has done anything wrong over the years, its probably not adequately telling the story of how and why we are where we are with rules and regs etc. Also its important to remember that NAFA is not a default state club....state associations have their own role and responsibility....like any national entity, NAFA needs to be asked for help before they dive into state clubs.

    I hate to say it, but most of the folks throwing the most criticism simply do not have the personal attributes to lead. After all the doors are fully open to take on leadership roles. Speaking from personal experience - the more I learned about how stakeholders make progress with agencies, the more I realized that 99% of the scenarios require patience, diplomacy, and humility, with a strong dose of stubbornness to keep one's eye on the prize. At least from my point of view, folks have varying amount of these attributes, but regardless, it takes time and seasoning to be effective. We have been lucky to have been represented by so many that have had these qualities in spades.
    John
    Bend, OR

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    Quote Originally Posted by goshawkr View Post
    I dont think the electoral college analagy applies here very well. Although my understanding is the the board appointed president was a check against hostile control by anti-falconry sorts coming from outside. If so, that seems silly to me because there is no check against a majority of the board being made up of anti-falconry sorts.

    What has happened in the not so distant past is for crony control occur, because the board knew which good ole boy should be appointed despite what the peasant membership might think of the chap. That has not been a problem recently, thankfully. But I have been told that it was so bad in the 80s (a bit before my time in NAFA) that it nearly caused the collapse of NAFA, and likely set up the events that lead to the schism that eventually lead to the creation of the AFC.
    Geoff,
    That was the logic I had while wearing my no direct say in who is at the helm hat. It was a heated argument. Not sure which of my personalities won.

    There was a time when I first joined NAFA when I really didn't think that anyone running the show was interested in what an apprentice with a redtail was doing
    or any other dirt hawker for that matter. The picture I was painting in my head was cigar chomping good old boys with big long wings driving large new SUV's with
    leather seats and wearing custom Gokey boots. (Yes, I do have a good imagination but I don't think I was far off)

    I do not however feel that the formation of AFC had a lot to do with that since AFC doesn't do much except get involved in politics. As a disclaimer, I also joined
    AFC and was a member for a number of years.

    NAFA is not perfect however I had a lot of reservations about the way AFC goes about things. I am not saying that I disagree with all of their ideas but they
    are simply way too confrontational. I am not above becoming confrontational but from the day I joined I got the impression that being confrontational was
    Plan A with them and I believe you should exhaust other means before going that route.

    I joined AFC because I felt that supporting another organization that was supposed to be supporting falconry was a good idea. I left because I felt that
    AFC was actually pursuing a political philosophy within the microcosm of falconry regulations and that doing so while purporting to be about falconry
    was misleading.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    The guy obviously has an axe to grind, and I dont see anything positive coming out of the way he is communicating his gripe.

    That being said, he is right on point with his first point. NAFA admitted with the WBPA regs came out they were asleep at the wheel (more acurately, they inquired about it early on in the process and were told to not worry that raptors were not affect). To me, that does not mean they should stay sleep. The WBPA has been in place long enough now though that is highly unlikely to be readdressed. I cannot argue with what was said on point 2 as well, although demanding an appology over that now seems silly.



    Quote Originally Posted by rkumetz View Post
    I have to say that I have had frank discussions with myself about the appointment of the NAFA president and vice-president by the board.

    On one hand it goes against my grain to not have a direct say in who is at the helm.

    On the other hand there is a relatively good argument for leaving it the way it is. At the moment the board functions a bit like the electoral college.
    Living in a state with a dozen falconers (on a good day) if we all voted for those offices it is like that states like Texas (nothing against Texans. God bless Texas..... )
    and California would elect those officers and I might as well just not bother voting. Sort of like the people in 95% of New York counties who have their votes for national
    offices negated by the huge population in the NYC.

    It is not a perfect system but then again the alternative has problems too.
    I dont think the electoral college analagy applies here very well. Although my understanding is the the board appointed president was a check against hostile control by anti-falconry sorts coming from outside. If so, that seems silly to me because there is no check against a majority of the board being made up of anti-falconry sorts.

    What has happened in the not so distant past is for crony control occur, because the board knew which good ole boy should be appointed despite what the peasant membership might think of the chap. That has not been a problem recently, thankfully. But I have been told that it was so bad in the 80s (a bit before my time in NAFA) that it nearly caused the collapse of NAFA, and likely set up the events that lead to the schism that eventually lead to the creation of the AFC.
    Geoff Hirschi - "It is better to have lightning in the fist than thunder in the mouth"
    Custom made Tail Saver Perches - http://www.myrthwood.com/TieEmHigh/

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    Member of NAFA sincen1974. Have watch them accomplish great things over the years. I moved 2,000 miles away from my family to practice the type of falconry I wanted. I back NAFA 100%. I'm too old fashioned for face book so I don't know what's going on there, don't have the time. Not even sure about what I'm doing here, but wanted to voice my opinion about NAFA support.

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    As I see it, this gentleman has laid out how NAFA has failed over the years. We can argue, ad nauseum, about the merit of his claims, but I think it would probably be more productive if we took the time to point out what NAFA has accomplished over the years. If what we have to say on behalf of NAFA conflicts with his comments, we can then discuss them, but to simply refute his comments because we are enamored with NAFA, proves nothing. I will begin by saying that during and after Operation Falcon, NAFA was instrumental representing falconry at the federal level. In the aftermath of this so-called operation, the USFWS was prepared to put a real damper on the practice of falconry in the United States through new regs, but falconers from all over the country, under the umbrella of NAFA and with the club's encouragement, launched a hell of letter writing campaign to our elected representatives in Washington, and others, which resulted in the feds backing off; in fact, the USFWS sent a representative to the 1988 meet in Amarillo to mend fences with falconers. From this experience, I learned that it is very important to have a national organization that we can run to in times of need. Now, this is not to suggest that NAFA has without fault; in fact, what this individual has written is not entirely wrong (IMO).

    Bill Boni

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
    leadership folks in any similar constituent-based member organization are volunteering their time for the benefit of members. What is so disappointing about falconers is the frequency of really challenging personalities who display irrational hostility to leadership. Many of these folks frankly dont have the full picture of facts and context to ground their criticism. By in large volunteer leadership gets extremely pissed and burned out having to deal with really personal attacks. In most cases the irrational criticisms are usually based in political beliefs not falconry interests. If NAFA leadership seems aloof, critics should think about their own personal responsibility in that outcome. Anyone will start to circle the wagons after they hear enough bullets cracking by their ears its human nature.

    If NAFA has done anything wrong over the years, its probably not adequately telling the story of how and why we are where we are with rules and regs etc. Also its important to remember that NAFA is not a default state club....state associations have their own role and responsibility....like any national entity, NAFA needs to be asked for help before they dive into state clubs.

    I hate to say it, but most of the folks throwing the most criticism simply do not have the personal attributes to lead. After all the doors are fully open to take on leadership roles. Speaking from personal experience - the more I learned about how stakeholders make progress with agencies, the more I realized that 99% of the scenarios require patience, diplomacy, and humility, with a strong dose of stubbornness to keep one's eye on the prize. At least from my point of view, folks have varying amount of these attributes, but regardless, it takes time and seasoning to be effective. We have been lucky to have been represented by so many that have had these qualities in spades.
    This is all something that people who want to whine and complain should contemplate in depth. As chief of a volunteer fire department I know first hand how people love to whine, complain and make demands but when you ask them if they would like to volunteer even a few hours of their time they rarely offer to help while they totally ignore the hundreds of hours of my time that go into keeping their houses above the cellar and they and their families able to call an ambulance if need be.

    While I don't agree with everything the NAFA board does, I also don't have any time left to serve myself so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and when I do have a problem with something they do I give them the courtesy of an email or call to discuss the situation rather than taking out an add on the front page of the NY Times to bitch about it.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkumetz View Post
    I do not however feel that the formation of AFC had a lot to do with that since AFC doesn't do much except get involved in politics. As a disclaimer, I also joined
    AFC and was a member for a number of years..
    The Wild Raptor Take Conservancy, which went on to become the AFC formed from a core group of NAFA members who were frustrated with the crony good ole boy politics within NAFA that was working to ensure that the issues they kept trying to bring up - primarily Non Resident Take - were never actively addressed. At the time, from what I could tell a majority of the NAFA membership agreed that NAFA should address it (I seem to recall some internal poling of NAFA members that indicated this) but the good ole boys would not even consider it. Likely because one of their core influential personalities was dead set opposed to NRT in his state.

    Bill,

    Good for you for trying to pull this around into a positive direction.
    Geoff Hirschi - "It is better to have lightning in the fist than thunder in the mouth"
    Custom made Tail Saver Perches - http://www.myrthwood.com/TieEmHigh/

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    Quote Originally Posted by goshawkr View Post
    The Wild Raptor Take Conservancy, which went on to become the AFC formed from a core group of NAFA members who were frustrated with the crony good ole boy politics within NAFA that was working to ensure that the issues they kept trying to bring up - primarily Non Resident Take - were never actively addressed. At the time, from what I could tell a majority of the NAFA membership agreed that NAFA should address it (I seem to recall some internal poling of NAFA members that indicated this) but the good ole boys would not even consider it. Likely because one of their core influential personalities was dead set opposed to NRT in his state.

    Bill,

    Good for you for trying to pull this around into a positive direction.
    Thanks, Geoff. I figure, if people will take the time to point out the accomplishments of NAFA over the years (absent embellishment), then we can compare it to the list Paul posted, and see how it all washes out. But, if people don't have anything to offer, well, . . . .

    BTW, Geoff, I have taken the same approach you have in terms of contacting the NAFA board directly, but I have not had any real luck doing this; in fact, when I get back home in a few days, I will forward an e-mail I sent with some recommendations, that I never received a response to from any of the members. I thought perhaps it never got to them, so a couple of months later I wrote James Gregory Thomas, and sure enough they had received it; in fact, he--then--responded. I guess he felt obligated at that point. Over the years, this has happened to other folks, as well. So, I do think this is an area where NAFA has failed their constituents. I will say, however, that if you contact the President directly he will respond. He is pretty good at doing that, as have previous presidents, but the board needs to do their share as well (IMHO). I have often heard, "these are volunteer positions." My response to that has always been, "If you don't have the time to do devote to a particular position in NAFA, then don't take on the job."

    Bill Boni

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    The bottom line is that in the social media world we live in - we now know that mental diarrhea rises and nuanced, learned debate falls. Calls to burn everything to ground rank higher than stories about a diplomat who can speak 7 languages and negotiated a peace settlement. The falconry community needs to basically grow a pair, and tell the truth about who we are and where we came from. Even if that means losing a few hundred political zealots in our ranks. NAFA (or any state club) isn't a pure representative organization bending to the whims of whatever ideology pays dues - it is a member organization with a clear mission: "to encourage the proper practice of the sport of falconry and the wise use and conservation of birds of prey."

    As such, it has not only made huge strides in that mission, but one could argue the NAFA legacy is a model. You would be hard pressed to show any other example of a stakeholder member organization that worked with officials to create a continent-wide framework for a practice that had no context in existing law and was generally opposed by majority of environmental stakeholder voices. In just 50 years, they shepherded what was essentially an illegal practice with no historical roots in NA, to a legally entrenched sport continent-wide. The trajectory has been the gradual liberalization of rules as trust and understanding has grown. Personal attacks directed at NAFA leadership are pathological in the face of this legacy (nevermind 99% of the attacks are factually/historically wrong). At worst its a positive trend of effective rational advocacy with the agencies. At worst! At best, NAFA has been one of the premier voices in raptor conservation.

    Most people make choices based on their own financial stability and their own political beliefs. Few have the mental constitution to advocate for the greater good of a larger mission beyond themselves. We call those people leaders. I side with the leaders that follow the mission with passion and dedication. Most of the naysayers couldnt negotiate a tree trimming with their neighbors...never mind a continent-wide wildlife policy.
    John
    Bend, OR

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    A personal opinion.

    Considering the tiny constituency the falconry community represents I am constantly surprised to the point of amazed at the favorable treatment from state and federal legislators and agencies that has been achieved.

    Regards,
    Thomas of the Desert
    Tom Munson, Buckeye, AZ
    619-379-2656, tom@munson.us

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    God i wish we had a LIKE button! Thanks Tom!
    randy bachman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
    The bottom line is that in the social media world we live in - we now know that mental diarrhea rises and nuanced, learned debate falls. Calls to burn everything to ground rank higher than stories about a diplomat who can speak 7 languages and negotiated a peace settlement. The falconry community needs to basically grow a pair, and tell the truth about who we are and where we came from. Even if that means losing a few hundred political zealots in our ranks. NAFA (or any state club) isn't a pure representative organization bending to the whims of whatever ideology pays dues - it is a member organization with a clear mission: "to encourage the proper practice of the sport of falconry and the wise use and conservation of birds of prey."

    As such, it has not only made huge strides in that mission, but one could argue the NAFA legacy is a model. You would be hard pressed to show any other example of a stakeholder member organization that worked with officials to create a continent-wide framework for a practice that had no context in existing law and was generally opposed by majority of environmental stakeholder voices. In just 50 years, they shepherded what was essentially an illegal practice with no historical roots in NA, to a legally entrenched sport continent-wide. The trajectory has been the gradual liberalization of rules as trust and understanding has grown. Personal attacks directed at NAFA leadership are pathological in the face of this legacy (nevermind 99% of the attacks are factually/historically wrong). At worst its a positive trend of effective rational advocacy with the agencies. At worst! At best, NAFA has been one of the premier voices in raptor conservation.

    Most people make choices based on their own financial stability and their own political beliefs. Few have the mental constitution to advocate for the greater good of a larger mission beyond themselves. We call those people leaders. I side with the leaders that follow the mission with passion and dedication. Most of the naysayers couldnt negotiate a tree trimming with their neighbors...never mind a continent-wide wildlife policy.
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
    As such, it has not only made huge strides in that mission, but one could argue the NAFA legacy is a model. You would be hard pressed to show any other example of a stakeholder member organization that worked with officials to create a continent-wide framework for a practice that had no context in existing law and was generally opposed by majority of environmental stakeholder voices. In just 50 years, they shepherded what was essentially an illegal practice with no historical roots in NA, to a legally entrenched sport continent-wide. The trajectory has been the gradual liberalization of rules as trust and understanding has grown. Personal attacks directed at NAFA leadership are pathological in the face of this legacy (nevermind 99% of the attacks are factually/historically wrong). At worst its a positive trend of effective rational advocacy with the agencies. At worst! At best, NAFA has been one of the premier voices in raptor conservation.
    Well-put, John. Thanks for pointing out the work that NAFA did early on to make sure falconry was "legal," in the face of a real threat from organizations like the Audubon Society. But, let us not forget that California and Colorado led the way, as the first states to have sanctioned falconry regulations.

    I was wondering if you would clarify, "
    The falconry community needs to basically grow a pair, and tell the truth about who we are and where we came from"; in other words, why would falconers not want to tell the truth about where they came from? Also, it appears you are saying that what motivates these people is simply pure politics; that there is no validity to their protests. Yes?

    Bill Boni

    Bill Boni

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    I find it amusing the mention of the creation of the AFC (WRT) was due to former members of NAFA being fed up with the good ole boys within NAFA and now I look at the AFC and I see that same good ole boys mentality going on just like it was back in those days within NAFA that caused them to leave. LOL
    Fred
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Gizmo View Post
    A personal opinion.

    Considering the tiny constituency the falconry community represents I am constantly surprised to the point of amazed at the favorable treatment from state and federal legislators and agencies that has been achieved.

    Regards,
    Thomas of the Desert
    When you are not a sizeable voting population and don't have deep pockets it becomes more an issue of who you know than what you know as the saying goes.
    We didn't have much success at the state level until we found some people to build personal relationships with. There is still a lot of room for improvement but
    at least we are no longer viewed as simply an annoyance. Handshake politics is not the fastest way to achieve your goals but the bull in a China shop approach
    can have repercussions. The PLF lawsuit might very well achieve its intended goals with respect to making falconry regs acceptable to libertarians and the
    specific constitutional grounds they cite. Of course after they remove inspections and we can use birds held on falconry permits for commercial purposes how
    will the state and federal agencies retaliate? Unless there is derivative benefit for PLF with respect to their own agenda they are not going to step to the plate
    to save falconry. They could care less and we don't have deep enough pockets to litigate ourselves.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    I have often heard, "these are volunteer positions." My response to that has always been, "If you don't have the time to do devote to a particular position in NAFA, then don't take on the job."

    Bill Boni
    Bill.
    What you are saying is perfectly logical but it doesn't really work out that way. When a volunteer leadership position opens up there are usually two kinds of people who can fill it:
    Those who really really really want it and have loads of time to dedicate to the task and those who are qualified, desirable candidates who's time may be in short supply because they
    are also qualified to be doing other things. Very often the first category of people are the ones who you least want to have the job for one reason or another. The most qualified people are often those who doubt that they are right for the job. You and I know that smart people are aware of exactly how much they do not know. The people who think they know everything are going to cause problems. The ones who just want to be in charge are also to be avoided at all costs.

    Volunteering in a leadership role is a mostly thankless time consuming and stressful endeavor.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkumetz View Post
    Bill.
    Volunteering in a leadership role is a mostly thankless time consuming and stressful endeavor.
    I hear you, Ron. A good example would be the NAFA President job; this is a job that, under no circumstances, would I even consider taking on. In fact, I'm not sure why people even want to be president, as it is--as you say--"thankless, time-consuming, and stressful'; it is also costly because (as I have been told) making a NAFA showing at a lot of these functions is paid for out of pocket. But, I can't imagine the directors' jobs being all that laborious. I think it is more of a matter of how much effort people are willing to put into the job.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Well-put, John. Thanks for pointing out the work that NAFA did early on to make sure falconry was "legal," in the face of a real threat from organizations like the Audubon Society. But, let us not forget that California and Colorado led the way, as the first states to have sanctioned falconry regulations.

    I was wondering if you would clarify, "
    The falconry community needs to basically grow a pair, and tell the truth about who we are and where we came from"; in other words, why would falconers not want to tell the truth about where they came from? Also, it appears you are saying that what motivates these people is simply pure politics; that there is no validity to their protests. Yes?

    Bill Boni

    Bill Boni
    Well NAFA played a key role working with states...I would argue that the core group of NAFA folks that authored the federal regs created something that the states would accept. theycevaluated the anti's and preemptively drafted regs to address opposition from groups like Audubon and did a ton of behind the scenes work for clubs as they marched legalization across the country. Kent Carnie, more than any one person, is more responsible for this heavy lifting. Facts get lost to time...we forget where we come from. I think in any enterprise, the founding principles or mission can get lost as subsequent generations come on board. Its true for any mission-driven Enterprise. What I am suggesting is that its human nature to bend to the loudest voices and concede things that are against the founding principles. Before you know it, the organization looks nothing like the original charter so to speak. You see this a lot in non-profits, where a brilliant visionary sort collects a core group of similar minded folks to create something great like an art museum...they bring in a board....key people leave, and eventually you have a board installing a zip line and a water park. (I give that example as someone who listened to a board chair try to convince the others to install a zipline at a natural history museum. Im just suggesting that falconers need to guard their legacy. Sure there can be lots of validity to various points...but I think there is a theme we have observed where the most ardent abrasive critics of NAFA (in this example) typically voice their concerns in political language not falconry language.
    John
    Bend, OR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
    Well NAFA played a key role working with states...I would argue that the core group of NAFA folks that authored the federal regs created something that the states would accept. theycevaluated the anti's and preemptively drafted regs to address opposition from groups like Audubon and did a ton of behind the scenes work for clubs as they marched legalization across the country. Kent Carnie, more than any one person, is more responsible for this heavy lifting. Facts get lost to time...we forget where we come from. I think in any enterprise, the founding principles or mission can get lost as subsequent generations come on board. Its true for any mission-driven Enterprise. What I am suggesting is that its human nature to bend to the loudest voices and concede things that are against the founding principles. Before you know it, the organization looks nothing like the original charter so to speak. You see this a lot in non-profits, where a brilliant visionary sort collects a core group of similar minded folks to create something great like an art museum...they bring in a board....key people leave, and eventually you have a board installing a zip line and a water park. (I give that example as someone who listened to a board chair try to convince the others to install a zipline at a natural history museum. Im just suggesting that falconers need to guard their legacy. Sure there can be lots of validity to various points...but I think there is a theme we have observed where the most ardent abrasive critics of NAFA (in this example) typically voice their concerns in political language not falconry language.
    Thanks for your explanation, John; that clears it up for me.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    I hear you, Ron. A good example would be the NAFA President job; this is a job that, under no circumstances, would I even consider taking on. In fact, I'm not sure why people even want to be president, as it is--as you say--"thankless, time-consuming, and stressful'; it is also costly because (as I have been told) making a NAFA showing at a lot of these functions is paid for out of pocket. But, I can't imagine the directors' jobs being all that laborious. I think it is more of a matter of how much effort people are willing to put into the job.

    Bill Boni
    Our last 2 NE directors have made a much better effort to "engage the members" for lack of a better description. Prior to that it was hit or miss. I got the impression that the previous people had their arms twisted into taking the job. I am not being critical of those individuals since if that is the case nobody else stepped to the plate so we only have ourselves to blame.
    In the big picture just touching base with members to see how they feel about issues being discussed by the board is nice. Despite the dangerous ideas of our current general counsel we elect our directors and they represent us on the board so NAFA is in fact a member guided organization. It may be representative democracy but that is far different from a board run organization. A good example of that type of outfit would be various charitable foundations that give away lots of money. Most of those boards are appointed by people who ponied up the cash in the first place.

    I agree that our current president does a pretty good job of hearing people out. Given that for n falconers there are n+1 opinions his ear must hurt from talking on the phone and I hope NAFA will pick up the tab for his carpal tunnel surgery.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Looking back over the years, it's been a pretty fulfilling and fun falconry ride. In fact, I'm thankful, and there are multiple people to thank! I saw my dream of flying passage eagles and goshawks fulfilled. At a quality and respectable level. And now the opportunity to fly passage Prairie Falcons on ducks. It doesn't get much better than that. Life is good!

    At the end of the day, what's important? They say bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! I've learned life is just too short to complain and whine. I'm so glad I learned it sooner than later!

    My best falconry could still be in front of me! 👍

    Good hawking everyone!
    Dan McCarron
    John 3: 16

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    Dan, What a great attitude!
    Isaac

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyodjm View Post
    Looking back over the years, it's been a pretty fulfilling and fun falconry ride. In fact, I'm thankful, and there are multiple people to thank! I saw my dream of flying passage eagles and goshawks fulfilled. At a quality and respectable level. And now the opportunity to fly passage Prairie Falcons on ducks. It doesn't get much better than that. Life is good!

    At the end of the day, what's important? They say bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! I've learned life is just too short to complain and whine. I'm so glad I learned it sooner than later!

    My best falconry could still be in front of me! 

    Good hawking everyone!
    Dan that may be the most positive thing I have ever read on NAFEX. You are not just saying that to promote a self-help book you are writing are you?

    There is a good point to be made here though. This is supposed to be fun. When falconers get bitter and nasty they are missing the point. It is a hobby. Granted most of us
    are pretty passionate about it but at the end of the day it is all about enjoying ourselves. We can all disagree about the details (and we do) and still enjoy the ride.
    Ron N1WT Vermont

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyodjm View Post
    Looking back over the years, it's been a pretty fulfilling and fun falconry ride. In fact, I'm thankful, and there are multiple people to thank! I saw my dream of flying passage eagles and goshawks fulfilled. At a quality and respectable level. And now the opportunity to fly passage Prairie Falcons on ducks. It doesn't get much better than that. Life is good!

    At the end of the day, what's important? They say bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! I've learned life is just too short to complain and whine. I'm so glad I learned it sooner than later!

    My best Falconry could still be in front of me! 

    Good hawking everyone!
    Dan,

    I agree that falconry (for the most part) has been fulfilling and fun. And I also agree that we have many people to thank. And I am glad that you have been able to fly passage eagles and goshawks, but why follow it up with "at a quality and respectable level"? Are you trying to tell us something? Also, it wasn't that long ago that you were complaining and whining about NAFA's handling of the eagle situation to the point of resigning from the club (having since rejoined). So, I am not sure you learned "sooner than later" (unlike the rest of us mortal souls) that life is too short. Please tell us how NAFA has played a part in your falconry journey over the years? Thanks.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Dan,

    I agree that falconry (for the most part) has been fulfilling and fun. And I also agree that we have many people to thank. And I am glad that you have been able to fly passage eagles and goshawks, but why follow it up with "at a quality and respectable level"? Are you trying to tell us something? Also, it wasn't that long ago that you were complaining and whining about NAFA's handling of the eagle situation to the point of resigning from the club (having since rejoined). So, I am not sure you learned "sooner than later" (unlike the rest of us mortal souls) that life is too short. Please tell us how NAFA has played a part in your falconry journey over the years? Thanks.

    Bill Boni
    Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. - Benjamin Franklin

    Cheers Bill! 👍
    Last edited by wyodjm; 05-13-2019 at 09:08 PM.
    Dan McCarron
    John 3: 16

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyodjm View Post
    Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. - Benjamin Franklin

    Cheers Bill! 
    Well, I certainly would not want you to say the "wrong" thing, Dan; that would not fit your image :-) But if you can bring yourself to do so, will you please share with us how NAFA has contributed (or not) to your falconry experience? Thanks, again.

    Bill Boni

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    Hey, Paul,

    In your post that started this thread you asked us what we thought, which some of us have responded to. What do you think?

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montucky View Post
    Well NAFA played a key role working with states...I would argue that the core group of NAFA folks that authored the federal regs created something that the states would accept. theycevaluated the anti's and preemptively drafted regs to address opposition from groups like Audubon and did a ton of behind the scenes work for clubs as they marched legalization across the country. Kent Carnie, more than any one person, is more responsible for this heavy lifting. Facts get lost to time...we forget where we come from. I think in any enterprise, the founding principles or mission can get lost as subsequent generations come on board. Its true for any mission-driven Enterprise. What I am suggesting is that its human nature to bend to the loudest voices and concede things that are against the founding principles. Before you know it, the organization looks nothing like the original charter so to speak. You see this a lot in non-profits, where a brilliant visionary sort collects a core group of similar minded folks to create something great like an art museum...they bring in a board....key people leave, and eventually you have a board installing a zip line and a water park. (I give that example as someone who listened to a board chair try to convince the others to install a zipline at a natural history museum. Im just suggesting that falconers need to guard their legacy. Sure there can be lots of validity to various points...but I think there is a theme we have observed where the most ardent abrasive critics of NAFA (in this example) typically voice their concerns in political language not falconry language.
    John,

    I have been thinking more about your above statement regarding NAFA, and would like to follow-up on it.

    One of the main things you touched upon, even though you didn’t say it, was “loyalty.” I am a big fan of loyalty, even though in today’s society, loyalty is fairly nebulous. And you, of course, were not talking about “blind loyalty.” You were simply saying, regardless of faults, we should always honor the fact that NAFA paved the way for falconry in the United States; and I certainly agree. We should never lose sight of our roots, so to speak. Then you go on to suggest that we should be careful of the firebrands that attack NAFA purely from a political perspective. As you know there are numerous definitions of “politics,” but I think I found one that you are referring to, which is, “activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone's status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive.” I can’t argue with your contention here, either, except to say that there are personal reasons why people take this approach, and we should probably factor this reality into the scenario before we condemn the person (IMHO).

    In light of your cautionary tale about how clubs can recreate themselves to a point where they involve themselves in issues that are well beyond the scope of the club’s original intent, are you suggesting that the list of things that Paul posted fall into that category, or are you simply saying, “Consider the source and the politics of it all”?

    Finally, I would like to point out the obvious that “viable clubs” do evolve; a good example in terms of NAFA would be the Internet. Not too long after the Internet became available, I started a webpage and a listserv for falconers. NAFA leadership voiced strong opposition to doing this, suggesting that it would sound the death knell to falconry. But, look where we are today. Another good example is the leadership’s opposition in 80’s (as I recall) to the selling of captive-bred raptors. But, look where we are today. I am sure this is not the type of evolution you are talking about, John. I only point this out as way to broadcast the importance of not getting stuck in the mud, so to speak; in fact, in years gone by, I was one of those firebrands, who felt that NAFA was always playing catch-up on important issues, never ahead of the power curve. But, again, that had a lot to do with me as a person, more than anything else. And, as Ron has pointed out, “Handshake politics is not the fastest way to achieve your goals but the bull in the China shop approach can have repercussions.” So, my philosophy now is, All’s well that ends well, or in some cases, “All’s well that ends”

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Hey, Paul,

    In your post that started this thread you asked us what we thought, which some of us have responded to. What do you think?

    Bill Boni
    What do I think? I ran for NAFA Mtn director in 2010, I'm sure a couple of folks who were on NAFEX back then might remember, Eric Tabb ran against me, I ran partly because of all the shit and shenanigans I heard about the internal workings of NAFA, so I figured what better way to find out then to get on the board. Be careful what you ask for, because you might get it, so I ended winning, with my term starting on January 1st 2011. At the time Larry Dickerson was president, Bob Welle VP, treasurer April Davenport-Rice, all who started their work with NAFA in January of 2010. I was replacing Bruce Haak as Mtn Director, who had served three terms (6 yrs), big shoes to fill. I credit Larry, Bob, and April for being top professionals, the strides that were made under their watch in terms of fixing the NAFA cash flow and budget, and bringing NAFA into the 21st century with a web presence and communication capabilities were nothing short of revolutionary for an organization that was behind the times.

    What did I find in those board meetings? Were there hidden agendas and confrontational issues where board members were stifled from raising words of objection, graft and underhandedness? Unfortunately not, there was no intrigue, nothing, zero, zilch, nada. It was all business, and everyone and anyone could speak their mind. The NAFA board meets every third month, once in person at the NAFA meet in November, then again in January, March, June, and September, so 5 board meeting per year. I think the shortest meeting that I participated in was around 1.5 hours, the longest maybe 2.5 hours. Larry was a strict parliamentarian, so anyone who has ever served on a board knows the advantage of being able to stick to Robert's Rules, otherwise things descend into chaos very quickly.

    What did we talk about at those meetings? Early on mostly the state by state adoption of the new federal regs. Dave Eslicker was spearheading this effort and interfaced with all 49 states clubs, or falconers for states without clubs, and with the states G&F dept when requested, or necessary. If you don't think this was a major effort by NAFA you are an idiot, NAFA was there at every step, from working with the USFWS to author the new regs in 2008 with George Allen to final state by state implementation by the December 31st 2012 deadline.

    What else? I found out that when you serve on a board that there is a lot of organizational housekeeping chores, things like budgets, meet planning, publications, personnel issues, and member issues. It's all kind of blur to me now, if anyone is really interested I could go through each and every agenda over the 3 1/2 terms, 7 years, that I served and provide some the highlights, but I'm not going to do that this morning.

    What did I take away from my time as director? I found out that my initial reasons for running for director were unfounded, there was no overarching hidden agenda, or back room politicking, all I witnessed after 7 years were people who were critically aware that the falconry community needed NAFA to be a leader, a constant desire to meet member expectations given the limitations of a volunteer organization. I found that falconers seemed to believe that NAFA has "operators standing by" to take calls on every bit of falconry minutia that crosses their mind. I can't count the number of times I heard "Why doesn't NAFA _____?" Fill in the blank. My stock reply was always, "Write a proposal and Iíll submit it to the board, and if it's approved, then you will have to step up and do the work." NAFA is a volunteer organization run by volunteers, if you want something to get done you had better be prepared to contribute your time and effort. People seemed to confuse the meanings of the words complain and contribute, cuz complaininí ainít contributiní! Very few people took me up on my offer.

    Does NAFA have shortcomings? You bet. Volunteer organizations are not efficient, that's my opinion based on observing NAFA. Since those who serve don't get paid, nearly everything else gets attention before dealing with NAFA issues. Thatís just life, NAFA will always be a volunteer organization. I wasnít and am still not happy with most of the directors who I donít think communicate well with their directorate. During my time as director I sent out emails to the Mtn directorate after every board meeting informing folks on what happened, and how I voted, I was the exception and not the rule, most directors are very out of touch with their directorate, it frustrated the shit out of me, and still does. Communication, or the lack thereof, is the biggest issue in every relationship, whether itís with your spouse, or an organization and a member.

    NAFA and the big picture? All of the mudslinging at NAFA that certain falconers seem to enjoy, most of those are personal grudges, or misinformation, or just weird ass people. Without NAFA there would be no falconry in this country period. In the words of Neil Degrasse Tyson ďThe good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in itĒ, same goes for NAFA, NAFA is North American falconry whether or not you believe in it.

    There you have it, I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you any more.
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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