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