While Idaho's fish and wildlife remain biologically unchanged, the manner in which we as humans enjoy them is constantly changing, and the methods used to communicate with the sporting public are constantly evolving as well.
Idaho Fish and Game is trying a new approach by consolidating its big game and fisheries public meetings and making more information available on the Internet for those who can't attend the meetings in Idaho Falls on February 28 and Rexburg on March 1.
"We realize that people's time is extremely valuable, so we're combining our big game and fishing regulation proposal meetings together, as well as making more information available on YouTube for those who cannot attend a meeting," Upper Snake Regional Supervisor Steve Schmidt said.
Last year, wildlife managers in the Upper Snake Region experimented with short informational videos on YouTube and found they reached more people than had been attending the traditional public meetings.
"This time we will have seven different short videos that sportsman can click on to learn about the status of the animals they are interested in," said Daryl Meints, Upper Snake Region wildlife manager. There will be separate videos for all of the region's big game species: black bear, mountain lion, wolf, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and pronghorn.
"At this stage we are looking for issues that sportsman would like us to address during the regulation setting process," Meints said. "For example, would they like to see more or less opportunity for whatever species in a given unit or season."
Online visitors will have the same opportunity to provide comments as those who attend the public meetings.