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    Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Hunting Season - Lif Strand

    At 10:38 AM 11/17/02, Nancy Mitts wrote:
    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.

    See, this is the problem. Ranchers pay fees for grazing rights - they have the right to graze livestock on the grass. Loggers pay fees for lumber rights - they have the right to cut down trees. Hunters pay fees for hunting rights - they have the right to hunt for elk or deer or whatever. There's other things, such as mining, that users of public land must pay for. Why? Because all of them are *buying* something that could be (in theory at least) purchased elsewhere. They are buying the right to remove something from the public lands - grass, trees, critters, ore, whatever. John and Jane Q Public - you and me - own the lands and these kinds of *special* users are paying for a tangible, marketable, countable and concrete commodity.

    If a hunter can't or doesn't want to hunt, he doesn't have to pay his fees - he doesn't have to "buy" that chance to get a deer or elk or whatever. He's not entitled to a refund just because he isn't going to hunt any more than I'm entitled to a refund from Safeway because I didn't go to the store. But....

    Each individual would consider it no more your land than theirs.

    As an ordinary citizen, you bet. It's all our land. And it's our deer and our elk and our trees and ore and grass. But just because it's all ours, it doesn't mean we all can go chopping down trees any time we want, or put our horses out in the National Forest to graze for a season, or dig some holes in a mountainside looking for gold, or knocking off a good looking deer for the freeze - the price we pay for pooling resources, as you say. Nope, we apply for the right and then pay for those things if we want them. The people who pay for them are paying us, the public.

    But recreational users aren't in the same category of public land user. They aren't taking anything away. There is nothing to pay for (except perhaps services rendered, such as use of toilets, camp grounds, other improvements). In fact, they really should just be considered as The Owners and Landlords, come to pay a visit! And I guess it's my feeling that the owners shouldn't find themselves at risk, better off not being on public lands for many months a year, when they want to visit during hunting season, whether it's on horseback, on foot or whatever.

               Lif Strand * Quemado NM USA * www.fasterhorses.com
                                   ** You speak, I listen, We talk  **

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