To The Daily Sun,
What is going on with the Department of Fish and Game?
This session at the Statehouse, HB-423 will designate the bobcat as the state wildcat.
The department saw fit to spend $250,000 on a study of bobcat just to see if they could add the species back onto the trapping list. The commissioners want this to happen. The conclusion from the wildlife division was that road kill was enough to control the size of the bobcat numbers. They are still considering adding the cat to the trapping list.
Seven years ago the department did a study on the moose herd and found that all of the calves that they radio-collared perished due to parasites. Why then did the department go ahead and spend an additional quarter a million dollars on a more recent study and found that some 65 percent of the calves collared perished in the winter of 2014 due to parasites. Winter tick and brain worm were realities then and are a reality now. Now they still want to put an lottery out for some 110 moose permits this coming season. Mother Nature is controlling this herd, but the department sees fit to hasten the moose herds demise.
Due in part to poor management in the Department of Fish & Game and the lack of interest by the state legislatures to consider raising licensing fees for the last 13 years to keep pace with the growing expenses to the department, they now have a short fall of some $3.5 million. If this was the Navy and the ship ran aground the captain would be "relieved of command." So now who do you think is left to pick up the shortfall?
The mission of F&G is to regulate, protect, restore and conserve the wildlife resources of the state. The non-hunting citizens in the state are restricted from intentionally feeding bears for viewing with a $1,000 fine, yet your neighbor can bait without a permit if they intend to shoot the bear. RSA-208 doesn't give the executive director the authority to regulate the non-hunting citizens of the state. The non-hunting citizens of the state have no representation on the F&G commission. Yet the department is looking for the state treasury for $1.5 million to help keep them afloat them for the 2015-16 budget. This money comes from the general fund. Looks like they intend on getting it. We gave them $699,000 last year. Spending $750,000 for 2015 and $750,000 for 2016 from the General Fund for this department when they have not exercised all of their options to raise revenue is a bad idea.
The Legislative Budget Assistant has no way of validating the department's inflated claim of how much revenue is coming into the state from hunting/fishing activities. It looks like the non-hunting citizens are going to subsidize F&G from now on, without having any say. These same non-hunting citizens the department is so willing to regulate. Call your state representative and senator and tell them no moneys from the general funds are to be used for this so called self funding department and get it out of the budget. Tell them you would rather see that money go to our nursing homes before subsidizing low cost hunting practices over free bait sites.
Currently (2015 season) the department has increased guide permits to 50 for bear (35 permits grandfathered in, 15 permits in lottery form) resulting in revenues of: $59 per permit equals $2.950, $8.850. from federal match (Pittman-Robertson act) = Total revenue $11,800 to the department.
Fifty guide permits come with six bear transportation tags each, for a total of 300 bears per season. The guides charge on the average $1,000 per bear, realizing $300,000. Again the department receives a total of $11,800 and the guides receive $300,000. Guide service for moose can be as much as $5,000 each, deer $300-$500. It is unknown how many deer or moose are taken with the use of guides. Hence HB-298 brought forward by the guides is designed to exacerbate this issue. The department needs to stop giving away these resources with little or no gain, allowing private citizens to profit from the sale of the state's natural resources. This department was not intended to be used for the monetary gains of private citizens. But that is exactly what has happened.
HB-298, relative to the seasons for taking game animals and game birds with the use of bait. This bill will allow for season long baiting, for anything that is to be hunted. One of the sponsors is Rep. Parent, Merr 26. Rep. Parent is an New Hampshire licensed guide. FYI, 408 bear were taken over bait last year.
The department will only listen to the small minority in their decision making. Let the small minority bail them out. If this was a referendum state, the issue of baiting would be resolved and the guides would all be gone (apparently they can't guide unless the have bait sites ), which in turn will restore the department to fulfill their mission without this greedy outside influence and restore hunting as a sport. That is something I would support and ask our legislators to support.
Eric T. Rottenecker
- Category: Letters
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