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Old 03-11-2013, 09:25 AM
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plecain plecain is offline
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Default NH Fish and Game Funding

I imagine many here got the email from NH F&G about upcoming budget hearings where the F&G budget will be discussed.

In short, F&G says it needs the state to provide $550,000 in 2014 and $745,000 in 2015, including $200,000 for search and rescue, in each of those years.

In the same email, it give the number of hunters and fishermen in NH for 2011 - looks like about 56,000 hunters plus 228,000 fishermen, a total of 284,000. The email doesn't say whether all of these bought licenses.

The number of licenses is probably smaller. If we guess the license count at 250,000, then an increase in the cost of a license of $2-3 would cover the entire spending shortfall.

Would you support such an increase if the money went to F&G?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:02 AM
eturc eturc is offline
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The issue isn't the increase- F&G is trying to shift the burden of search and rescue costs to people that actually need help... When was the last time you saw on WMUR a S&R for a lost fly fisherman or hunter (that wasn't accidentally shot!!!). They put in the law to re-coup costs from unprepared people that had no teeth to it... So now, they are trying to come up with another way to get the hikers and others to pay for a service that they use... Hopefully Supervisor will chime in, but that has always been my take... Why burden the cost on a group of educated, prepared people to pay for the dumbasses that can't get out of their own way.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eturc View Post
The issue isn't the increase- F&G is trying to shift the burden of search and rescue costs to people that actually need help... When was the last time you saw on WMUR a S&R for a lost fly fisherman or hunter (that wasn't accidentally shot!!!). They put in the law to re-coup costs from unprepared people that had no teeth to it... So now, they are trying to come up with another way to get the hikers and others to pay for a service that they use... Hopefully Supervisor will chime in, but that has always been my take... Why burden the cost on a group of educated, prepared people to pay for the dumbasses that can't get out of their own way.
Rightly said.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eturc View Post
The issue isn't the increase- F&G is trying to shift the burden of search and rescue costs to people that actually need help... When was the last time you saw on WMUR a S&R for a lost fly fisherman or hunter (that wasn't accidentally shot!!!). They put in the law to re-coup costs from unprepared people that had no teeth to it... So now, they are trying to come up with another way to get the hikers and others to pay for a service that they use... Hopefully Supervisor will chime in, but that has always been my take... Why burden the cost on a group of educated, prepared people to pay for the dumbasses that can't get out of their own way.
Im not sure how a prepared individual who is taken out by an unpredictable objective variable is a "dumbass"? Im not sure if you ice climb, back country ski, rock climb, backpack, or do any thing like this here in NH but there are a lot of prepared people who get caught in sticky situations that are out of there hands. Yes, the out of stater who decided to hike Mt Washington in October and gets caught in snow, wind, and isolated avalanche with no water, food, or shelter can maybe be classified as a "dumbass"... with risk should come risk management and with risk should come preparation and when something goes wrong risk becomes reality.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:33 PM
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plecain plecain is offline
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Default The original question

Can we get back to my original question?

I know the $200,000 in the F&G budget for Search and Rescue is a sore point to many. It's a sore point with me.

But, it seems like F&G has to find some money somehow. I asked if people here supported a $2-3 increase in license fees if the money stayed with F&G.

I'd support that increase if F&G got the money.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:32 PM
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Sorry for going off track there... I would like to see how much is spent every year on stocking trout into our rivers and streams? Maybe a few dollars can be taken away from hatching and put towards the budget increase? Its not always about how much money you have, its about how you spend it... in the end I would pay the 3 extra dollars if i had too, but that is not to say i think it is an appropriate move.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:39 PM
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FurFace FurFace is offline
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To answer your question... No, I don't support an increase in hunting/fishing licenses for those purposes. The state (including Fish & Game) need to figure a way to get funding for these purposes elsewhere, not from folks that don't use the services.
Why don't they come up with an Outdoor User Certification course to educate folks for outdoor preparedness. Make it a requirement that folks need a certificate in order to receive S&R, etc. services in NH. Then those prepared folks who are certificate holders but get into a bind can get help when it is legitimately needed. And if the service consumer doesn't have a certificate, then they pay for services rendered. At the same time a non-profit program could be established that is voluntarily funded through tax-deductable donations. If it were put across to the public (resident and non-resident) that these funds are used for legitimate S&R services, as well as funding the Outdoor User courses and their administration, trail maintenance and other (habitat?) improvements, outdoor enthusiasts (including hunters and fishermen/women if they choose) could make tax deductable donations to this cause. Make it law, and make it known that if you don't have a certificate from this type of course, you will cover the cost of S&R or whatever services you use. Get into a predicament where a chopper is needed, then you've just bought a round trip ticket. Wardens sent out to find you... hourly fee for each. The only way people will ever take outdoor preparedness seriously is if you hit 'em where it hurts. If you can't make payment for services rendered, then mandatory community service at minimum wage till you pay it off.
The playing field needs to be leveled. You can't lay the financial burden on hunters and fishermen who aren't the problem to begin with. Those folks who do use the services, they need to pay their fair share.
If this was the case, then there wouldn't be as many of those idgits who set out on a late October hike in the Presidentials wearing shorts, with a day pack fully equipped with a water bottle and power bar. And it only follows that less idgits, less services will be required. As easy as that.

Last edited by FurFace; 03-11-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:43 PM
Bamboo Bryan Bamboo Bryan is offline
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I feel that I can add something to this debate. I'm a Search and Rescue operator with the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team and work very closely on an almost (at least in the summer time) weekly/daily basis with NH F&G. My team is called out to assist with NH F&G on the majority of all missing person searches.

To put some perspective on all of this, out of the 30-40 callouts we get a year, maybe one or two are hikers/backpackers/campers that got lost. There are maybe one or two more that are overdue because of an injury, but generally they are of sound mind and have a cellphone that they can call and usually just need help getting out of the woods.

The overwhelming majority (probably 75-80%) of the people that we go out to find are elderly persons with dementia/Alzheimer's/schizophrenia. I'm pretty sure having one or some of these illnesses does not constitute the person being a "dumbass". The remainder of the percentage is usually handicapped children and suicidal patients. I'm on the fence about the idea of having people that get lost pay for the state to find them because most of them are already not in a financial situation to pay for these services due to mounting medical bills. If I had to make a choice, I would probably go with the 2 dollar raise in licenses to help cover the S&R costs. Also a disclaimer, I'm a volunteer S&R operator and don't get paid to put in the mileage and hours I spend on getting to/from and conducting searches, so this isn't a conflict of interest for me.

Granted it isn't "your" (hunters/fishermen) problem, but still, I would imagine that if it was your parents or grandparents or children that were lost and you were in a really tough financial spot that forking over another couple hundred to a thousand dollars would really make your life a lot tougher.

I guess my point is it is a much more complicated issue than just a couple "dumbasses" or "idgits" getting lost in the woods.

Last edited by Bamboo Bryan; 03-11-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:04 PM
Bamboo Bryan Bamboo Bryan is offline
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Another thing that I just thought of to consider. We often find "black tags" on our searches (the patient is deceased). I can only imagine how innconvenient and, further more, cold it would be to say "oh, yea we found your dad, he died of exposure/not getting his meds, but we worked really hard so can you cut us a check for a thousand dollars after you get all the funeral arrangements done? Thanks."

I don't know, maybe I'm too biased because I've seen many families when the Lt. pulls the family aside and breaks the news to them. I just couldn't imagine having to worry about paying another bill on top of all that.

But what do I know? Maybe I'm just a big softie.

Last edited by Bamboo Bryan; 03-11-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2013, 07:13 PM
Wind Knot Wind Knot is offline
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Thank you for your input and perspective Brian, as well as your service.

I would not object to an additional $2-3. However, it would be nice if there was some way to get hikers to contribute as well. For example, might an arrangement be made with the Appalachian Mountain Club, perhaps by adding a small surcharge for staying in their WMNF cabins that would come back to F&G for supporting search and rescue.
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