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Old 09-04-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
515 posts, read 929,148 times
Reputation: 838

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Quote:
It's not an easy answer, but I know (from Scouting) the guy that used to manage BLM land around Canyon Ferry. He said it is a constant battle to collect grazing fees, maintain campsites and get a budget from Congress.
I think that's the kicker. Natural resource agencies have traditionally been underfunded, in my experience. Mainly because the number of us in this country for whom hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are important has never been enough to get all of our elected officials on the same page.

But with 9/11 and 10+ years of war, it's only gotten worse. We've seen a TON of money diverted elsewhere, so agencies like BLM have had to find other ways to fund their operations.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:10 AM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
Reputation: 11404
I think it's a really good discussion and I'm glad this was brought up. There is a lot of talk in Montana about taking control of public lands (USFS/BLM). While on one hand it may seem like a good idea for the state's to control it, on the other hand state politics can be easily pursuaded. How much of that land might be lost to private sale if the state wants to generate extra revenue?

We are blessed here to have SO MUCH public land. I'm literally surrounded by millions of acres of USFS and BLM land. People come from all over the country to recreate in these lands. Hunters aren't locked out like they mostly are now on private ranches and spreads.

I think it's a huge issue, and simply adopting an 'anti-fed' attitude may not be the best answer. I mean once you lose it it could be gone forever. That's my concern.

Plus- if you look at the overall impact, especially USFS lands, most areas were originally designated under the Watershed Protection Act. Way back when they cut all the forest down in the Appalachians, there were MASSIVE floods down in DC and surrounds. The forest served as a huge water filter and sink. A lot of these places serve a purpose much more important than recreational value and many people may not be aware of that.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:06 PM
 
Location: In a state of mind
5,998 posts, read 6,357,816 times
Reputation: 11253
Maybe the BLM could lay off the Swat teams and armored vehicles and save money?

Paying to use public land we already pay for is wrong. We can't even park on the road anymore without armed highway robbermen (aka rangers) stealing our money via tickets.

Where did America go?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
515 posts, read 929,148 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
Maybe the BLM could lay off the Swat teams and armored vehicles and save money?

Paying to use public land we already pay for is wrong. We can't even park on the road anymore without armed highway robbermen (aka rangers) stealing our money via tickets.

Where did America go?
Incidentally, BLM doesn't have or fund a "SWAT" team. An officer wearing an external body armor carrier (which virtually always comes with the body armor panels from the manufacturer, these days) does not equate to a "SWAT" team member. Armored vehicles are also not 'purchased' - they're surplus from the military. If you want to be critical of a government agency, facts will almost always serve you better than assumptions.

As far as paying for what we already pay for - that's the reality in cutting government budgets, meaning we're NOT paying for that land as we used to. That money is going elsewhere, with that agency left to make ends meet on their own.

The reality of our day and age is that some things which tax dollars used to cover are no longer funded. It is what it is. And in addition to shrinking agency budgets, you have a bigger population and more people using these natural resources. Anyone who thinks new fees are "wrong" are free to exercise their freedom of choice to not use these resources, but with those two factors constantly at play, I'd expect it to get a lot worse in the future.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:49 AM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
Reputation: 11404
A lot of agencies have adopted a user pay system. I'm in commercial finance and have witnessed a big change, especially with the US Small Business Administration. Their flagship loan guarantee program (75-85%) used to be entirely funded by taxpayer appropriations. Now, the small business owners pay a guarantee fee- usually around 3-3.5% on a typical loan. That money is put into their loan loss reserve to cover loan losses. (Business assets must be liquidated and the net is paid to the bank).

I chuckle when I hear the critics accusing the Agency of being cavalier with taxpayer $ when in fact it's a user pay insurance pool.

Ironically USDA Farm Service Agency loans to small farmers are not user pay. They are still entirely funded by tax appropriations.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: San Diego
32,798 posts, read 30,034,103 times
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I'm looking for who/what/when the BLM $ got rerouted but not having any luck.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:00 PM
 
Location: In a state of mind
5,998 posts, read 6,357,816 times
Reputation: 11253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenaroundabit View Post
Incidentally, BLM doesn't have or fund a "SWAT" team. An officer wearing an external body armor carrier (which virtually always comes with the body armor panels from the manufacturer, these days) does not equate to a "SWAT" team member. Armored vehicles are also not 'purchased' - they're surplus from the military. If you want to be critical of a government agency, facts will almost always serve you better than assumptions.

As far as paying for what we already pay for - that's the reality in cutting government budgets, meaning we're NOT paying for that land as we used to. That money is going elsewhere, with that agency left to make ends meet on their own.

The reality of our day and age is that some things which tax dollars used to cover are no longer funded. It is what it is. And in addition to shrinking agency budgets, you have a bigger population and more people using these natural resources. Anyone who thinks new fees are "wrong" are free to exercise their freedom of choice to not use these resources, but with those two factors constantly at play, I'd expect it to get a lot worse in the future.
1. Well someone pays for the gas and paint for their tanks.

2. No , it means our taxes are being squandered and diverted into pensions, etc. My point is most of these Fed agencies are not needed, or could be a lot smaller.

3. No, it's not my choice to be excluded from MY public lands by being extorted for more money.

Maybe it's time to just sell the d*mn land.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:36 PM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
Reputation: 11404
I went out on USFS and BLM land today with my dog. Took the Jeep Cherokee. Went through Marysville MT took USFS 701 to Uncle Bens Gulch. Shot a few dusky grouse, had lunch, then drove over to Nevada Creek. Walked the creek and the dog pointed and flushed a ruffed grouse- missed that one.

And I didn't have to pay a fee. Nor did I see any tanks. Or anybody else for that matter.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:38 PM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
Reputation: 11404
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
Maybe it's time to just sell the d*mn land.
Oh I think not. That's pretty shortsighted (or blind sighted).
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Idaho
2,476 posts, read 2,014,764 times
Reputation: 5102
Most ranchers are more than happy to pay the small BLM fee for grazing since the state fees are, on average, twice as high. Also BLM supplies and installs any needed cattle guards, fences, gates, while most states charge the rancher for those items.
If the BLM and the states stop leasing lands to ranchers for their use, it could get very interesting. Since now all the ranchers would be trying to graze their cattle on these lands at the same time. Could cause some serious problems between ranchers.
I know quite a few ranchers in and around the southern UT area and they have NO problems with the BLM fees and are happy to pay. It is very inexpensive and guarantees their right to graze.

Also, by law, BLM is required to put all money received for recreation back into recreation projects. This includes development of the lands for campgrounds, picnic areas, etc., as well as employee costs and benefits. That is one reason, in the Moab area, developed campgrounds are being developed yearly. (Just look at Kane Creek and the five developed campgrounds in the past year.) Also why group sites are getting shade shelters, etc.
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