Thursday, February 17, 2011

You're Welcome

The Interior Department is distributing almost $750 million to state fish and wildlife programs this year to pay for state programs.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday in a release. "These funds will support important fish and wildlife management and conservation, recreational boating access, and hunter and aquatic education programs."
This money comes from excise taxes paid by sportsmen on licenses, fishing equipment, guns, and ammunition.  Even if you don't like guns or don't hunt and fish, some of your enjoyment of the outdoors is paid for by those of us who do.

  • The walking trails at the state park you like to use after family picnics without buying tickets?  You're welcome. 
  • The boat ramp at the lake where you put in your cabin cruiser without paying a usage fee?  You're welcome.
  • The restored wetlands that clean the water in the stream your children play in?  You're welcome.
  • Those wild deer, elk, and turkey you take pictures of in an area where they were unheard of 30 years ago?  You're welcome.

Thing is, this is one tax that I gladly pay.  Yes, it makes my hobbies a lot more expensive than their sticker price, but I can see where the money is going on this one.  I also enjoy boating on the lake and hiking on the trails, and nothing makes the drive to work better than seeing a deer or turkey in the fields along the road.

So please, go out and enjoy the parks, lakes, and wildlife that our excise taxes help pay for.  And please try to remember them the next time you're ranting about the inhumanity of hunting and fishing, or complaining about Walmart selling ammunition, or that the state fish and wildlife agency put up a small shooting range in the back of beyond in your local state park.  Without the taxes that hunters, fishermen, and shooters pay every day, your enjoyment of the outdoors wouldn't be as nice as it is now.

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