By Brent Miller, Northeastern States Director, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
In the sportsmen’s community it has been known for some time that one of the most important factors in recruiting, retaining, and reactivating hunters is ensuring adequate access to lands for them to engage in their pursuits. Often we focus on providing access to large tracts of lands (whether public or private). However, there are many other policy changes that can result in improved access, such as the expansion of Sunday hunting (temporal access issues), the effects of local ordinances (ending localized hunting closures), or the reduction of discharge distance regulations.
I recently had the opportunity to explore the issue of discharge distances by examining deer management concerns in the Hudson Valley of New York, where I grew up. In this paper I compare and contrast the various alternative management techniques that individuals posit may replace the role of hunting in controlling localized overabundant deer populations. Coming to the conclusion that hunting remains the most effective and efficient method for dealing with localized issues with deer overabundance in free-ranging populations, the paper then examines a recent policy change in New York (pushed forward by members of the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus) that will likely result in improved access for hunters in the Empire State. Finally, the paper looks towards the future, and examines which additional policy changes might be necessary to ensure the recent change reaches its full potential and expands the ability of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to rely on hunting as a primary management tool for dealing with localized overabundant deer populations, particularly in suburban and exurban environments.
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What do you support as a means to either complement or enhance the funding state fish and wildlife agencies receive through the American System of Conservation Funding? (To learn more about the options below, visit CSF's issue briefs)Vote Here
- Increase the price of hunting and fishing licenses, tags, permits or stamps (9.21%)
- Create new species-specific stamps (e.g. trout stamp) (3.95%)
- Implement a conservation stamp for non-consumptive users (e.g. hikers, bikers, birdwatchers, etc.) that use state-owned lands (31.58%)
- Adopt a Conservation Sales Tax at the state level on all taxable goods, with the funds allocated for conservation projects (15.79%)
- Adopt a Dedicated Sales Tax on Outdoor Goods (a state-level tax on outdoor goods similar to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs) (21.05%)
- The creation of non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for state wildlife agencies (18.42%)