question on state wildlife agency funding


July 28, 2013, 11:36 PM

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Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 12:15 AM
I don't think the hunter numbers declining thing is accurate here in Wyoming.
There has been a way here in Wy. for "non hunters" to add their money to the G&F budget in place here for years. The "non hunters and other non consumptive users have not supported it. It's called the conservation stamp.
And there's absolutely nothing that prevents the "non consumptive" users from purchasing a hunting of fishing license, but few if any do.

July 29, 2013, 12:32 AM
I looked at the 2014 budget cuts in Wy. It is following the trend of decline.

July 29, 2013, 10:10 AM
It has been discussed on several forums. A large part of the funding for natural areas comes from hunters - not just from licenses but from Pittman-Robertson funds and other sources that hunters and fishermen pay the brunt of. Campers, boaters, birders, hikers, equestrians, etc. all benefit from these lands and, in some cases, try and succeed in limiting access to "their" public lands to non-hunting activities.
When access or user fees for all are explored, they scream and yell about it. They seldom 'put their money where their mouths are'.
Mandatory fees for all those seeking access is the answer. Some National Wildlife refuges have admission fees for which a federal duck stamp is adequate. That recognizes the input that hunters have had in establishing these areas. All public areas should require similar arrangements.

July 29, 2013, 10:59 AM
The downside is that if non-hunters have to pay, they then have a voice in how the money is spent. I'm wary of that. Even though hunters have paid for the land and all the improvements for decades those areas could be banned from hunting if enough non-hunters want its primary use changed.

July 29, 2013, 12:51 PM
a ban on hunting could happen with or without a fee or donation, i dont think that is likely. i am seeing like others that agencies are slowly transitioning from pure game manipulation for sportsmen towards other wildlife as well. even though i buy licenses and have bought several tags, i am in favor of that trend, personally. is it wrong that non-hunters have a voice on how wildlife should be managed? truth is wildlife belongs either to everyone or no our public lands.

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 12:58 PM
The budget cuts the Wyoming Game and Fish are going thru at the moment don't have anything to do with hunter numbers. It's more to do with an out of control government agency being forced to reign in non essential spending. They could find plenty of money to spend 2 million dollars on an office renovation that most likely wasn't needed, and there's a boat load of wasted space in that renovated building, but some how they can't find the money to stock fish??

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 01:00 PM
While it is true a ban on hunting could occur in some states, Wyoming just passed a constitutional amendment that prohibits a ban on hunting.

July 29, 2013, 01:43 PM
according to wyoming game news...their traditional source of revenue is declining...they state that a new source will have to be found within a couple of years...this is echoed by most other state agencies...i dont want to get off topic but hunting to me is a priviledge not a right..and it can be revoked like a license...

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 02:37 PM
Trust me they don't have a revenue issue, they have a spending issure. The reason that they didn't get the license fee increase they wanted is because the legislature and a citizens committee went thru the budget and found a ton of places to cut.
In typical spoiled brat fashion the Game and Fish is having a regular tempertantrum.

At any rate there's no shortage of hunters here in Wy.

July 29, 2013, 03:51 PM
I wasn't referring to a ban on hunting in general, but in how land is used. Right now Georgia has dozens of Wildlife Management Areas. Some are on private land leased by the state with money from license fees. The rest are on National Forest. All of the maintenence, food plots, roads, etc are paid for with funds from hunters in the form of a WMA stamp required to hunt on these lands.

Non hunters use these areas as well. There are some areas where the state is experimenting with requiring non-hunters to either possess a valid hunting license with WMA stamp, purchase a special use permit, or pay by the day to use these areas for horsehack riding, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and hiking. A hunter with a valid license would be covered anyway.

For 70-80 years these lands were purchased, maintained and used exclueively by hunters. My concern is that today, there are more non-hunters using this land year round than hunters are a few weeks of the year. If the non-hunters have to pay for the right to use the land, they have a right to express how the land is used. I could see the day when these areas are designated as recreation areas for non hunting uses.

Art Eatman
July 29, 2013, 03:59 PM
The 11% Pitman/Robinson excise tax on firearms--all firearms--is distributed among the states on a pro rata basis of the number of hunting licenses sold. The Dingell/Johnson tax adds to this, although I don't know to what outdoor items it applies.

F&W operating costs have risen faster than have license fees.

Hunters' efforts have increased the numbers of game animals, in part by habitat improvement in many areas. And, of course, by moving animals into an area of vastly reduced population for herd/flock regeneration. These efforts cannot avoid being helpful to non-game species, thus adding to the visual experience of birders and other non-consumptive users of the outdoors, in essence giving them a free ride.

Ducks Unlimited has purchased way above $50 million in acreage; primarily pothole lands for ducks/geese nesting areas as well as along flyways. This benefits the Audubon folks, e.g.

Another example would be that of F&W people working with timber companies. Instead of a full clear-cut, harvest smaller-tract patches or leave strips of uncut timber in an area. Whitetail deer are edge creatures, so this system creates more edges--which benefits nesting song birds since they tend to nest in edges.

So, extend the P/R and D/J excise taxes to optics, camping gear and cameras. Needn't be the 11% rate, but some amount would be a help to all wildlife.

July 29, 2013, 04:11 PM
Colorado spends millions on non game endangered species management, especially in fish removals/killing. They also spend a great deal on Conservation Easements that don't allow for public access.
When I see state wildlife employees shocking my rivers and lakes and trapping/killing fish that in most states are jealously protected and land owners extorting public money under threat of development (conservation easements), CPW standing by silent when wild horses breed like maggots and overgraze winter range of deer, elk, desert bighorn and predators increasingly decimate the new crop of fawns and calves I don't get all warm and fuzzy about giving my dollars for them to waste.

July 29, 2013, 04:49 PM

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 05:45 PM
but you are Don from Colorado..

Now how in the samhell could you come up with that ?
You're dead dead wrong with that one, and makes a person wonder what sort of agenda you are really getting at here?

July 29, 2013, 06:11 PM
and you my friend are "friend of the wild". tell us more about you...what do you shoot, what game have you taken and what with. why are all your post so seemingly so anti? you jump skip around in such a nonlogical order, what is your agenda?

July 29, 2013, 07:14 PM

July 29, 2013, 07:31 PM
You make an assumption that I don't know is correct. Are hunter numbers declining?
PR funds certainly must be on the rise and license fees have never dropped anywhere so far as I know.
I think a more interesting article would be how the revenue was being spent.

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 07:54 PM
Careful there XRAP, you're pm inbox will be inundated with half baked crap just shortly, I don't think our friend of the wild is playing with a full deck...

July 29, 2013, 08:06 PM
I don't think the hunter numbers declining thing is accurate here in Wyoming. Hunter numbers are down, game populations are down, and the number of available tags in many limited quota areas are down. While I agree the WGFD does have some spending issues, license fees are the traditional funding stream and the revenues are on the decline.

Here are a few numbers from 2012. Total resident hunters 69,606. Total nonresident hunters 51,521. The figures from 2009 are total resident hunters 81,919. Total nonresident hunters 73, 684.

July 29, 2013, 08:25 PM
what media is the gleaned information for????

Don McDowell
July 29, 2013, 08:48 PM
Ankeny the last license fee increase dropped a lot of hunters out of the market. It happens every time. I remember a fella that quit hunting when they took the deer, fishing,bird off the elk license and started charging 5$ for each license.
Yes the game herd numbers are down, but we've been in a horrific drought since the spring of 1997, and the last few years have seen about 50 % of the cattle sold from eastern Wyoming, it stands to reason range conditions are not going to sustain the over populations of big game that was previlant in some areas. Combine that with CWD, blue tongue, and predator depradation...
Wyomings human population goes thru huge cycles as well, so rather than look at strictly the numbers, a better comparison would be the percentage of hunters

July 29, 2013, 08:50 PM
Outdoor Pressroom 6-17-2012 "Colorado license sales down $5 Million from 2006
KKCO News 9-11-2012 "Colorado license sales down 20% from 1998"
Independant Record 1-20-2012 "Montana license & game revenue declining"

There was an increase in 2011 giving a small reverse of a 25 year trend of steady decline in license sales nationally.

July 29, 2013, 08:52 PM
who are you writing this article for????

cat got your tongue??

July 29, 2013, 08:57 PM
yeah its a bobcat and he wont let go...I am still considering who I want to submit the query to.. one of the larger conservation magazines...

July 29, 2013, 09:24 PM

Art Eatman
July 29, 2013, 09:34 PM
Since FOTW isn't a lot of help, let me offer a point to ponder before closing:

With the economy as bad as it is, many would-be non-resident hunters either can't afford the non-res license, and/or afford the travel cost.

To some extent the travel cost is a problem even for residents, and in Texas, affordability for leasing might well reduce the numbers.

And so, a reduction in money for F&W budgets.

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