Acronyms in government work are ubiquitous. In an average day at my job I will encounter SMP, SEPA, JARPA, HPA, DNS, DOA, NIMBY and the list goes on. Like any industry, there’s a language that goes with it and with a little time, you catch on. I always wonder how non-native speakers navigate the American system of acronyms and with the advent of texting there’s a whole new system of acronyms that have infiltrated common usage: lol, lmk, ily, jk.
Some acronyms have become so common in everyday language, we likely don’t even know what they stand for anymore as they have become common words. For instance, SCUBA, Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus; LASER, Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation; CARE package, Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe which later changed to Cooperative for Assistance and Care Everywhere; and ZIP code, which stands for Zone Improvement Plan code. Who knew?
Here in the Methow we have a problem. We have overlapping acronyms. Most confusing is MVCC. This can stand for the Methow Valley Community Center or the Methow Valley Citizens Council.
One acronym you may not know by has significance this month is GMU. That’s Game Management Unit, an acronym developed by, you guessed it, a government agency! WDFW — aka, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife — how’s that for acronym usage. GMUs are geographic zones designated and regulated by the game department with different objectives for conservation and management of wildlife.
Each GMU has slightly different hunting seasons and rules or regulations. It’s quite an extensive and complicated process for assigning each unit its regulations and seasons, backed by annual tag counts and wildlife survey data. Here in Twisp we are in the ALTA unit (but that’s not an acronym).
Archery and muzzle loader season is already upon us, but modern firearm season for deer begins Oct. 12 here in our region. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, must pass the Washington State Hunter Education to hunt and purchase game tags. The course can be online with a field day evaluation or in person. Luckily there’s a class coming up in Twisp at the Twisp Valley Grange starting Oct. 7 , Monday–Friday, 6–9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.–noon. Register at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/basic.
I went through the class 11 years ago (7 months pregnant — I was huge, toting around a rifle in hunter orange). I recommend anyone who has an interest in learning about hunting and firearm safety to attend the class, especially if you are new to the valley, naïve to hunting, or are uncomfortable around guns. Hunting is part of the local tradition and culture in the Methow, and our economy. It’s a good way to be informed about gun handling safety and about the etiquette and rules of hunters so that we can all be respectful of the diversity of users who experience and appreciate our shared landscape. B4N, BBS, THX4 reading!