Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Hunting Season - heidi
> 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
> 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.
EXCUSE ME??? Here in the West, virtually ALL of the commodities you
describe are on public lands. There IS no "somewhere else" to purchase
these things, for the most part. Yes, there is SOME grazing and timber on
private lands--and with regards to timber, the private lands are FAR
better managed than our public lands are. Furthermore, as a member of
"John Q Public," I also like to be able to get a job, and to buy
commodities such as lumber and food at reasonable prices. In addition, as
a recreational user, it breaks my heart to see what has happened in all
too many places when timber and grazing lands are NOT managed as they
should be, with judicious logging and grazing. The fires here two years
ago are a perfect example. I remember the forests here back when logging
was practiced with an eye to what they called "sustained yield"--in other
words, so that the logging rate was coordinated with the growth rate, and
there would always be trees. Our forests were beautiful, and there were
trail systems and back road systems that made the forests accessible to
the recreational user. With the removal of logging, one of the first
things to go was recreational access. For one, you couldn't get close
enough to the forests by road to get in very far, unless you were planning
to go for weeks at a time. Second, since you couldn't clear a log out
with a chain saw, trails became closed as downfalls accumulated. Third,
the ladder fuels built up, and the end result was fire so devastating that
in areas, the soil is sterilized. I had the sad opportunity to fly over
some of the burned areas this summer with one of our back country pilots.
Areas that used to be beautiful are now bare dirt and rocks, where grass
can't even grow. As a recreational user, the FIRST people I'd like to see
back in these woods are the loggers!
> 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....
Please show me where hunters get refunds? He buys the privilege to hunt
just like you buy the privilege to ride an endurance ride by paying an
entry fee. What's the difference?
> 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.
You betcha. And as the public, we also have a right to have revenues
generated by "our" land, and to be able to have an economy that thrives
because we judiciously harvest our resources.
>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!
It costs the administrators of the public lands big bucks to haul out
garbage and human waste, in many places. There is also cost in developing
trail heads, accesses, etc. And that is why we, too, pay user fees in
some areas. The fees are generally commensurate with the use--timber
sales may cost millions, where a recreational user may only pay a few
bucks to help maintain the toilets. (And the timber workers are also
owners of the forest, don't forget...)
>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.
Well, then, I guess you'll have to outlaw every use of public lands.
There are incidents of folks mown down by mountain bikers, of folks
getting sick from human wastes in mountain streams, etc. Personally,
wouldn't it make a lot more sense to tighten up your local hunter safety
regulations, if they are lacking (states that have them have demonstrably
better safety among hunters than those that don't), etc., than to pick on
one entire group of the public that also enjoys using public lands--and
pays handsomely for the privilege.
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- Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Hunting Season, Nancy Mitts
- Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Hunting Season, Lif Strand