An "Economics" Question

Dan Salmon
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 7:52 am

An "Economics" Question

Postby Dan Salmon » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:34 pm

Where should the DNR go shopping for funding? 

Several avenues have been attempted, most all of which have been met with opposition by hunters. 

With the coming of the new governor, and the fiscal mess that the state is in thanks to the departing administration, I don't see any additional funding coming from those avenues.  Where else does the department go for funding sources other than to sell bonus tags, increase license fees, etc.?


Dan Salmon
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 7:52 am

RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Dan Salmon » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:58 am

34 hits and no ideas. 

Or is it not a funding issue at all? 

Maybe policy issue and a redirection/concentration of available forces? 


retch sweeny
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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby retch sweeny » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:55 pm

Here is a crazy thought. Cut spending and do with less. The DNR will have to cut back. Spend less and make due like we have to when money is tight. The incoming Governor will reign in spending. It will be up to the DNR to make do with what funds they get. We ought not be raising fees and taxes and such. Decrease spending and cut back and make do with the funding they have.

Dan Salmon
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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Dan Salmon » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:08 am

I agree with you Retch, but that answer doesn't put more game or fish back onto the landscape and you have a growing population of hunters/landowners that, no matter what happens, feel they are somehow getting the shaft. 

There are some positives out there like the Open Fields Funding that WI was awarded, but from many personal experiences trying to gain access to private land in this state, I'm really skeptical that it will take off.  In Wisconsin, no one wants anyone roaming around on their property in the fall for fear of scaring away the deer and lately it is what is perceived as what little numbers of deer that there are left.  And again, this is temporary funding until the next Farm Bill is passed and it is possibly completely written out of the bill and/or funding drastically reduced and competition for the lower amounts of funding available and WI at a huge disadvantage by not already having some form of the program already a success on the ground. 

Another area that needs to be addressed in the farm bill, because it should be treated as a crop, is timber harvest.  This would create jobs and better habitat all over the country, but more importantly in Northern WI.  It's a renewable resource and it should be addressed at the Federal level (National Forests as well as BLM lands) and at the state and county level.  Although I believe that some counties do a much better job of this than either the state or federal government does.

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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby bullwinkle » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:16 pm

Here would be my short list:

1. Get rid of the CDW team - with the new drug on the way, let it go private - outsource the effort
2. Cut the rule book in half and double/triple fines - poaching, trespassing, etc - make it a money generator - add wardens
3. Get rid of check stations - what a waste of money, time and gas - have a call in system
4. Make state land deer hunting by lottery with fees - it will reduce pressure and generate income - if nothing else, have people hunting on state land buy a special license to accommodate all the costs associated with the public lands
5. Add a new bow option - for $200 you can get another buck tag. Think more like a business - ie, let 10% of the bear tags be sold for $1000/each. I would pay for extra tags to keep hunting and get a bear tag
6. Sell wolf tags
7. I would let land owners with 40 acres or more hunt for free and increase licenses for non-landowners. The reason the land owners are the ones taking care of the deer and animals - if they are hunting on their own land, their taxes are already some of the highest in the nation - they should get something for this - empower them to manage the resource and take the burden from the state

Make the DNR smaller, empower landowners, run it more like a business and put some teeth into the laws so if they are not followed, the good people of Wis get their money back

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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Swampbuckdown » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:21 pm

For some reason, people think Scott Walker is going to make some miracle changes in the DNR, so that hunters get what they want. I doubt that is a good thing, since most have no idea what they want, what will work and what won't rape our resources further than they have been. The fact is, there are plans to cut DNR funding. Wisconsin has a 2.7 billion deficit, which most likely will mean big cuts to DNR budget. Even though Wisconsin deer hunting industry produces about 1 billion for the state and its residents, it won't matter when it comes time to make those cuts.

Dan Salmon
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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Dan Salmon » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:03 pm

Swampbuckdown, I agree with your analysis of the Walker worship. 

I do believe there are good and qualified individuals at the DNR that can take the cuts that are coming and still provide better services to both hunters and the general public than what has happened the past 8 years. 

I also agree that you'll never get a full consensus from hunters as to what to do, because the circumstances are different for every hunter, and lets face it, no one is in this fight for anyone but themselves anymore.  The political lobby rules and the Average Joe Hunter doesn't stand a chance of getting what he thinks he wants because of the "rules" that will have been put in place to satisfy the minority with the monetary backing.  That's reality.  We'll see what happens and who is behind it changing in the future.

I believe that the in-fighting by hunters will ultimately be the end of hunting as we knew it in the US.  Too much in fighting while the antis and tree huggers sit back and watch it all happen will lead to European style hunting by the rich and landed gentry and will be a crime for anyone else. 

As far as raping the resources further, I'm assuming you are referring to the deer herd, but I'm not sure so I won't comment at this point. 

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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby deojee1414 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:44 pm

I know no one likes prices to increase but raising fees is the simplest and quickest fix. I probably spend $500-700 per year on hunting and fishing. of that amount license fees make up 10% or less, so raising license fees $2-3 isn't going to make much difference. Also maybe they could try a fee for hunting on state/county land, much like state park fees or boat launch fees. maybe offer a daily or season long option? I agree with bullwinkle on getting rid of check stations. maybe try a 2 year program of phoning in your kill to a 1-800 number to see how that works. i believe wisconsin is the only, or one of the only states that require taking your kill physically to a location for registration. also agree on raising fines. Selling the extra buck tag sounds good, but i suspect most people who want more than 1 buck tag already have a wife, girlfriend or child getting a tag even though they dont hunt to take care of that. I would go along with the landowner hunting free as long as the free license is only good on their property and no where else. what we see lot of where we hunt is landowners hunting for bucks on their property and then going to public land to shoot does because they dont want to shoot them off their own property.

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RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Legnip » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:24 pm

I can't believe it, but I actually agree with you (retch) on something.[:D]

The DNR has had an irresponsible taxation program for the last decade or more. They should cut their budget to "value added" worth, plus 10%. 3 bucks should cover it.

The thing that I would like to eliminate it the DNR's belief that they own the wild life. They have exploited the wild life for revenue gains, but they work for the people. The land owners are shown little respect. It's just my opinion. I pay a bunch of property taxes every year, but receive no benefit. After discussing and questioning (letters) the lack of land owner rights with the DNR's, they promptly reduced my rights as a land owner even more. Land owner's (including children) in other states (TN) are not required to buy a hunting license to hunt their property. It's their right. I made the mistake of pointing out to the DNR that according to the rules, I could hunt small game on my property without buying a license, but had to pay for an out of state license. Their response was to change the rule the very next year.

Now that the DNR has successfully eradicated the deer population, they aren't needed anymore. Thank you for removing the deer population, your services are no longer needed.
From those who much is given, much is expected

Dan Salmon
Posts: 615
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 7:52 am

RE: An "Economics" Question

Postby Dan Salmon » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:02 am

I like the idea of allowing landowners a break on license fees (though not free tags unless damage is being done like current regulations allow) for hunting their own land.  Again, would need to have different colored back tags and peer enforcement to make it work correctly with not enough Wardens in the field.  The state is the largest landowner in the state, so giving landowners a complete pass on license fees is noticable loss of funding.  I would also give non-resident landowners a percentage break on the license fee.

I don't agree with a use fee for public lands, state parks are fine because they are maned.  If the state can't afford owning all the land they continue to buy, most at premium prices that are keeping prices inflated in the north, they need to sell it and get it back on the tax roles.  The counties seem to be able to make their land holdings pay for themselves through logging, why can't the state do the same.  It provides more diverse habitat and better habitat for all wild animals.

I am not against license fee increases, but I think the money needs to be put back into research and fish and game rehabilitation and not just the general pot to fund overhead and building maintenance. 

I think that the biggest thing that the DNR could possibly do is to provide a fee based forestry/biological consulting service to land owners to help provide better land ethic and sustainable resources.  I understand that most any service that may have remotely been provided in the past has been outsourced to private consultants.  I think if run correctly by someone with successful private sector experience could produce a good stream of funding for the department. 

The Check Stations I could do without.  The USFWS uses telephone registration to monitor quotas for Canada Geese that determines when/if a season closes earlier than the printed season dates, why can't the DNR produce a system that monitors the deer harvest the same way?  The tough part would be gathering age data etc., but it seems they haven't been collecting much of that kind of data lately anyway.  I would guess that they could randomly require people to bring in a harvested animal or some such thing if this were to be the way they wanted to go.


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