Should non-hunters pay their own way to use public hunting lands? If you live in Idaho, perhaps not.
From the Idaho Reporter:
Rep. Judy Boyle , R-Midvale, and Rep. Marv Hagedorn , R-Meridian, think hunters and fishermen are getting a raw deal when it comes to funding lands managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. A conservation permit proposed by Boyle to help remedy the problem was voted down Thursday in the House by a count of 25-43. The plan pitched by the duo of lawmakers would have created a conservation permit that would have served as an additional revenue stream for the department. Individuals or families wishing to participate in activities, such as picnicking or bird-watching, would have been required to purchase the permit, which the sponsors said would help the department pay for maintenance and operations of parks and campground.
_The cost of the permit would have been $10, but families who purchased it would have only needed one permit for an entire group of family members. Children would not have been required to purchase permits. Out-of-state residents would have been charged $20 for each permit.
We all know that much of the land on which we hunt and fish is purchased and maintained through license sales and fees. Without hunting and fishing dollars to purchase it, there would be much less public land out there to enjoy. But what about non-hunters who utilize public hunting lands but contribute nothing toward its purchase or upkeep? Should they be forced to pay for the privilege?