Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fellow Guides: Comments about the DEC

Fellow Guides:

I don't know if you have seen the proposed increases in fishing licenses, especially non-resident fees, so I am attaching them. I don't know why, but it seems they have targeted anglers in efforts to bail out the D.E.C. from their financial woes. I am also attaching a list of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board members, who will make the final proposal to the D.E.C., who will then decide what THEY want and send it to the legislature for approval for changing the 2010 fees.

Personally, I have contacted each member of the CFAB via email and intend to contact my state senator and assemblywoman, urging them to oppose increases to the degree that these are proposed. They want to increase the NR season license by 75% and the one day NR license by 66%. I don't know about you , but I am afraid to think what people's reaction will be when they find out they have to pay $25 on top of our fees to go fishing for four hours?

We all know that the good old days of the 80s & 90s will probably never return and business doesn't seem to be increasing dramatically now, if at all. I don't think we need any further reasons to scare away out of state anglers who come and leave a good deal of money in local coffers, including our own. These people are not responsible for the problems within the D.E.C. and they shouldn't be held financially responsible for bailing them out.

If you feel the same way as I do, I might suggest you inform your local guide/fishing association and county federation of sports clubs and ask them to join you in making your feelings known to your state senator & assembly person, urging them not to price NYS out of the fishing destination picture by over charging visitors for what they are getting. I also urge you to contact your regional representative of the CFAB with your thoughts. They seem to be on our side, but work much more effectively when they have direction from constituents as to what to propose and defend. They are only an advisory board, but numbers behind them does count. Hunters shot down the closing of the state game farm and preserved pheasant hunting in the state, We owe it to ourselves and our livelihood to shoot down ridiculous license fee increases to preserve local commerce and our livelihood. Thanks for your time and consideration,

Allen Benas, Clayton, NY
Saturday, February 28, 2009 5:19 PM
"Allen Benas"

Forgive me for interrupting your peaceful weekend with business again. Perhaps, before deleting it, you might look at it on Monday, when you're back on the "payroll?"
I thought you might be interested in this, coming from a former DEC high staff member, who, totally frustrated, retired much earlier than his original commitment to his career suggested. There are many more like him, and we can document them if necessary, with the same sentiments and none of them are just not "sour grapes." Gentlemen, the DEC has run amuck. They are like a bunch of mushroom farmers. Keeping the subjects in the dark and feed us lots of s--t.
Your people are all the state's sportspeople have for protection. The CC, who I know perform with total loyalty to the sportspeople, can't work effectively without good guidance from CFAB. They don't get it from working on the information given them "downhill" from DEC. Please, don't let us down.
They'll probably slap you and the CC in the faces and kick you in the rears, but don't let them wipe the smile off your faces when you are satisfied that you represented those who fund them, and you go to sleep at night knowing that you all did your job with honor. Allen

I worked for the DEC for 22 years as a fishery biologist, fish manager, and natural resources supervisor and dealt with state, DEC, and Division of Fish and Wildlife budgets and programs. I left the DEC when I was 45 years old, 10 years before eligible retirement. One of the reasons for my departure..., I didn't want to continue to be a part of the DEC and state ripping off license buyers.

I hear you about license fee increases, and I hear/read the pros and cons of what others,some quite uninformed, say. One thing I seldom hear/read about license fee increases...,

1) when license fees increase and cash flows to the Conservation Fund, the state automatically increases the "administrative fees" charged to the Div. of Fish and Wildlife..., a ripoff.

2) when license fees increase and cash flows to the Conservation Fund..., you guessed it, the proportion of General Fund money in the Division of Fish and Wildlife budget is reduced..., a ripoff.

The result, at best, is status quo of the Div. of Fish and Wildlife budget and more General Fund money for the state welfare programs, etc.

NY politicians including our governor do not get it..., witness the recent attempt to close the Reynolds Game Farm. I worked for years trying to educate legislators about the economic impact of fishing in New York State, but they never got it. Lots of lip service, but no comprehension of the $$$$ generated by the hunting and fishing industry in NY. A fourth grader can crunch the numbers in 15 minutes showing that just the state tax dollars alone that are generated by hunting and fishing more than pay for the investment of management and stocking programs.

I was shaking my head when I walked out the DEC door in 1988 and I continue to shake my head. The downhill spiral continues. The only solution is a separate Fish and Wildlife Commission with a strong focus on building the credibility necessary to maintain the budget and program support of license buyers.

Ernie Lantiegne
Fish Doctor Charters
239 Fravor Road
Mexico,NY 13114
(315) 963-8403

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