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    Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Hunting Season - Nancy Mitts

    Your arguments may hold water some in regards to federal land, I don't know. Although I suspect the hunters probably pay as much in federal taxes as any other users, on top of hunting licenses. So, they would want a tax refund for the times of year THEY can't hunt. Each individual would consider it no more your land than theirs. That's a price we bear for pooling resources. Some of my money will go towards things I don't want, other people will help pay for the things I want. In areas of the country where a lot of the land is relatively small pockets of state owned land surrounded by more urban/suburban areas, hunting & fishing licenses pay the way. It's the only revenue being COUNTED, because other recreational impact on surrounded business isn't being quantified. In government & politics, money talks. It always has and probably always will. Unfair as it may be, it is the reality of the structure within which we must work. We're simply not being counted. We must find a way to be if we want ours needs taken seriously.

    No, public lands aren't closed to public use during endurance rides and bike races. I was denied permission to hold a ride on Missouri Department of Conservation land because we might run over someone fishing. (I'm not kidding.) Because the land isn't closed, if we are perceived as too "dangerous" to co-exist with other users, permits are denied. We DON'T pay a fee on MO land. We're not charged for a permit, and there is no equine campground (where we ride) to reserve. We bring the department nothing but more work (in their eyes), with no countable return. This does get under my skin, because in MO they get more money (in total) from the sales tax than hunting licenses. But, I repeat, there's no way to count what comes into the state/community from horse user's sales taxes. When you figure (as they do)that a large part of that sales tax money comes from people who never use the state lands & stack up what's left against the amount paid by the licenses, we just don't have much clout. To be fair, the forester I work with at Huckleberry hasn't been hard to work with, as long as he doesn't get complaints from other users. In some states, the wildlife management areas are funded totally by hunting & fishing licenses & fees.
    The national forest charge is (I think) $30 + a % of entry fee? for an organized ride. It costs nothing to just go there and ride. I suspect that endurance rides & riders bring in an incredibly tiny amount of income.

    Nancy Mitts

    From: Lif Strand <lif@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
    To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: Re: [RC]   [RC] Hunting Season
    Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 09:40:20 -0700

    At 09:23 AM 11/17/02, Nancy Mitts wrote:
    Count the money. Hunters and fisherpeople contribute a significant quantifiable revenue source. In some, if not most states that's what funds the administration of public lands.

    OK, so that means those who pay the most get to use public lands and those who apparently pay less don't? If that's true I wonder what would happen if hunting revenues had to support public lands *fully* for the months of the year that they use the land. I doubt hunting revenues bring in that much money!

    If this situation was reversed would it work (this is a method I use to check lots of arguments): Do public lands get closed down to outside use when an endurance ride or a bike race takes place over it? Fees have been paid, after all. If someone would point out that endurance ride fees for public land use are much less than hunting revenues, then I'm thinking that if might makes right ("count the money") then we should really count the money. Do hunting revenues bring in more to maintain public lands than *other tax dollars*? If not, how is it fair that other financial supporters of public lands cannot use those lands part of the year? If so, should hunters be allowed to monopolize public lands because they pay more? If this should be the case, then I don't want to hear one more peep out of one more person ever about Ted Turner's buying up of land and using it just the way he wants - after all, he's doing just what the hunters are doing.

    Personally, if the answer is yes to the above, and I should be content to not go into the National Forest or ride over BLM land during hunting season, I want a refund of my tax money. I'm not a hunter and don't see why I should pay to support their recreational use of MY land!

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