Commission meeting your chance go get involved.

OK, here’s your chance.  Rather than whining to your spouses, co-workers and friends about the hunting, fishing or state park situations in Kansas, take it to the people who make most of the rules.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meets Thursday – April 26- at the Great Plains Nature Center. The afternoon session is 1:30 – about 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. until completion.

For a list of items on the agenda you can CLICK HERE.

Also, time is reserved near the beginning of the afternoon and evening sessions for comments or questions on non-agenda items.

Having been to many commission meetings over about the past 30 years, and making all but three during the past 12 years, I can tell you the Kansas public does a very poor job of getting involved in the meetings – very, very poor. Some meetings, usually in some small western Kansas town, there have been no members of the general public in attendance.

But judging from the e-mails I get, comments I hear at outdoors stores and phone calls, there’s no shortage of people out there ready to share their opinion.

Tips if you want to address the commission. -

- Be sure to say your name and home town clearly when you begin to address the meeting. It is required and lets others better see and hear you as a person with a little personal information.

 - Questions are as welcome as comments. There’s no better place to get the straight-scoop since representatives from the law enforcement, wildlife, fisheries and state parks divisions are in attendance.

- Be organized so people will more easily understand your comments or concerns. Rambling doesn’t do your case any good, or make it any easier for others to comprehend what you’re saying. Jotting down a few notes often helps.

- Keep in mind that time isn’t unlimited. I think the record for one member of the public addressing the commission and guests is about 35 minutes, at a recent meeting in Salina. After about five minutes, eyes started to glaze and the guy lost more than he gained in his on-going rant that pushed the meeting well behind schedule.

-Stay respectful of the commission, department staff and other members of the public.

-Please don’t be surprised if some guy follows you to your seat to get the proper spelling of your name and a few extra questions…I’m just doing my job.