Published DateTo the editor,
Good citizens of the state of New Hampshire and the sportsmen, if there are any left: There is a house bill that needs your support and it has to with the issue of wildlife resistant solid waste storage and disposal — HB-276. Rep. Reilly (Grafton-9) is the sponsor.
This bill will require wildlife resistant containers be provided, if it is determined that a solid waste container has attracted nuisance wildlife.
The USDA (Wildlife services) has seen the need to hire two seasonal employees to deal with this issue. In the years 2009, 2010, and 2012 this department had spent some 562 man hours on this one issue. That comes out to 14 months at 40 hours a week paid for by federal taxpayer monies. At the same time the Department of Fish & Game has spent the same amount of time between the Wildlife and Enforcement Divisions, paid for by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the complaint that these licensing fees should not go to the shortfalls of the search and rescue efforts. Why then are these same fees going to baby-sitting bears in dumpsters? Hunting and fishermen take notice. Contact your reps. and senators that HB-276 needs to pass.
The opposition to this bill comes from the waste companies who feel that the cost of upgrading containers to bear-proof status could bankrupt a company. True the bill requires the owner of said containers to be responsible for the upgrade, but let's be real that any and all cost of said upgrade would be passed on to the consumer. This bill is intended to reverse the ongoing problem that our towns, campgrounds, local state and fed. enforcement personnel have been dealing with for years. This bill doesn't require every container in the state to be addressed, only the ones that are identified as wildlife magnets.