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Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 22:12   #1
texas birder
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birders start paying for birding.

There has been a loose discussion for sometime among hunters and birders.
Why do hunters pay for birders opportunities to management areas and refuges. the event that brought this to light was I was hunting on a state WMA and on the way in flowed a vehicle doing the same road damage as I was. It been raining and road would need to be grated later. Both of us are using it. After my hunt I walked the path to see if there was birds on the non-hunting portion ( waterfowl) and couple was taking pictures ( sane Vehicle and only one in that lot) . She raked the ground to set-up the scope and kindly moved over and begin talking on all they have seen. She politely put her drink bottle in the trash. The same trash can I pay to be emptied.
I know that funds are used on outdoor equipment to wildlife areas, but birders are not continuously buy Bino's, ( shells, Hooks, lures, ect. )Most birding equipment last for along period of time. low cost of birding equipment over time- guns & bino's can cost the same; I know the local benefits list to community, Same as a traveling hunter.
So why are birders not purchase a required stamp say like a Duck stamp, trout stamp, salt water stamp, and so on? Can you sell pictures of wildlife and profit on hunters dimes? Who tracks photo profits. on duck stamp funded lands?
Before I get calls me an anti birding.
I also bird( life list is good and published in birding journals) and it is the least expensive of my hobbies ( done 75 CBC in three state and as many BBS)and the wife photographs. Food for thought on funding better birding places.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 00:00   #2
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There has been a loose discussion for sometime among hunters and birders.
Why do hunters pay for birders opportunities to management areas and refuges. the event that brought this to light was I was hunting on a state WMA and on the way in flowed a vehicle doing the same road damage as I was. It been raining and road would need to be grated later. Both of us are using it. After my hunt I walked the path to see if there was birds on the non-hunting portion ( waterfowl) and couple was taking pictures ( sane Vehicle and only one in that lot) . She raked the ground to set-up the scope and kindly moved over and begin talking on all they have seen. She politely put her drink bottle in the trash. The same trash can I pay to be emptied.
I know that funds are used on outdoor equipment to wildlife areas, but birders are not continuously buy Bino's, ( shells, Hooks, lures, ect. )Most birding equipment last for along period of time. low cost of birding equipment over time- guns & bino's can cost the same; I know the local benefits list to community, Same as a traveling hunter.
So why are birders not purchase a required stamp say like a Duck stamp, trout stamp, salt water stamp, and so on? Can you sell pictures of wildlife and profit on hunters dimes? Who tracks photo profits. on duck stamp funded lands?
Before I get calls me an anti birding.
I also bird( life list is good and published in birding journals) and it is the least expensive of my hobbies ( done 75 CBC in three state and as many BBS)and the wife photographs. Food for thought on funding better birding places.
As a life-long bird watcher (and non-hunter) I’ve no objection at all to a Birder stamp on the Duck stamp model. In fact, I would welcome such a thing—the more money coming in for habitat preservation etc. the better!
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 00:08   #3
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How would something like that be regulated? Anyhow, many national wildlife refuges already have an entrance fee.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 00:28   #4
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How would something like that be regulated?. . ..
A detail—along with others—to be worked out. Shouldn’t be all that difficult to come up with something that ensures birders and bird photographers (the overlap, alas, is only partial!) pay their fair shares
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 02:45   #5
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Jay-zus !!!! It's true ! ..... the Zombie Apocalypse has begun !

Natural areas have an intrinsic value and should be preserved for free!

User pays and pays and pays and tax on air be damned!

Maybe if you mob survive the next ~65,000 years you'll come to understand the true nature of 'custodianship' .......... :)




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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 05:18   #6
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In the US, virtually every state conservation area that allows hunting, restricts access except to hunters with valid permits only. Here where I live in the midwest US, large parts of conservation areas that allow duck hunting for instance, are closed to everyone but duck hunters, from November to February.

I have a portion of my state taxes pay for that, despite not duck hunting (with the intent to kill ducks anyway)
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 06:42   #7
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In the US, virtually every state conservation area that allows hunting, restricts access except to hunters with valid permits only. Here where I live in the midwest US, large parts of conservation areas that allow duck hunting for instance, are closed to everyone but duck hunters, from November to February.

I have a portion of my state taxes pay for that, despite not duck hunting (with the intent to kill ducks anyway)
My biggest concern (anywhere in the world) is people being 'accidently' shot by 'hunters'.

These natural and wild areas are places that should exist just for their own sake. They should exist because if the TRUE accounting cost of replacing them was factored in to any usage (business exploitation or otherwise), then no project ever could possibly prove viable.

I'm just flat out anti-hunting, though I do support the controlled, humane, destruction/harvesting of 'ferals' (even by bullet - as long as they are brain shot - and die in ~ 1/10,000th of a second).

As far as I'm concerned the activity of 'hunting' excludes all other activities if a proper, prudent risk analysis and management approach is taken. This is patently unfair to the remainder of the population - the vast majority.

I wouldn't mind giving up a couple [only] of weekends a year (appropriately selected to minimize impact to wildlife - ie. outside of breeding seasons or whenever the appropriate time is etc), so that 'hunting' could take place in designated areas. 'HunTers' should absolutely be licensed, have to get permits, and be charged for this privilege. (There is also much that I am down on with the worldwide rape of natural resource stocks, that needs elimination, reversal, and proper control to ensure sustainability and TRUE cost accounting, so don't think I am singling out HunTers - it's just that I prefer not to get shot while going for a walk).

By all means let all the HunTers get out there at the same time in whatever camouflage, orange hats and vests they want to wear and blam away, while everyone else is safely tucked up at home having a nice cup of tea. If some of those HunTers get injured/ die, then so be it - just natural selection at work.

Apart from my normal (multi-levels) of taxes contributing to these areas, there's no way that I should be slugged again on top of that for anything.


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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 12:05   #8
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Back to the original question - birding is already paid activity in South Texas and most other Third World countries. To enter any piece of habitat worth birding, you must pay. On top of it, most birders pay a membership fee to Audubon, BirdLife or similar organization.

In the particular hypothetical scenario that birding becomes a commercial activity similar to hunting. Nationwide, birders significantly outnumber hunters. Birders would start turning any piece of habitat into some form of protected area. Among the first demands would be: no hunting. So hunters would get short end of the stick.

In the broad picture, birding risen to popularity because it is free. Paying would automatically exclude young people for whom every dollar counts. Those people will turn to interests not related to nature and not support conservation in the later life. So pretty bad deal.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 12:42   #9
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Back to the original question - birding is already paid activity in South Texas and most other Third World countries. To enter any piece of habitat worth birding, you must pay. On top of it, most birders pay a membership fee to Audubon, BirdLife or similar organization.

In the particular hypothetical scenario that birding becomes a commercial activity similar to hunting. Nationwide, birders significantly outnumber hunters. Birders would start turning any piece of habitat into some form of protected area. Among the first demands would be: no hunting. So hunters would get short end of the stick.

In the broad picture, birding risen to popularity because it is free. Paying would automatically exclude young people for whom every dollar counts. Those people will turn to interests not related to nature and not support conservation in the later life. So pretty bad deal.
Access to most nature reserves in the UK, requires either membership of the organisation that owns it or payment to access the site on a daily basis.

Besides this, most birders are members of numerous conservation charities both home and abroad, are hunters?

I'm personally a member of the Oriental Bird Club, African Bird Club, Neotropical Birdclub, RSPB and WWT.

In regard to the OP, what is your annual outlay to hunt in terms of membership fees or one off payments? And you also get to take home and either eat or sell whatever you kill, birders take pictures, some only take notes.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 12:44   #10
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Is Texas birder a Russian troll? Just joined BF. First post. Poor command of English and a pretty unsophisticated attempt to drive a wedge between two outdoor communities.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 12:47   #11
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Is Texas birder a Russian troll? Just joined BF. First post. Poor command of English and a pretty unsophisticated attempt to drive a wedge between two outdoor communities.
I nearly commented similarly but chose to avoid the usual accusation of racism that would no doubt come my way from the usual suspects.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 16:42   #12
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Can we please stay on topic? Responses to the gentlemen’s question without getting off on tangents would be appreciated.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:00   #13
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Can we please stay on topic? Responses to the gentlemen’s question without getting off on tangents would be appreciated.
A very odd first post indeed, despite 'tangents'.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:01   #14
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Thanks for the well thought out comments and opinions. My intent was not to drive a wedge, but a better understanding. It is good see the passion for the sport. I placed the two main acts that draw funds from hunters activities, the federal duck stamp and Pittman Robertson act. I have yet to find where birders are paying for the activity, purchase of lands, research, and management. If so please let me know! I am able to enter many state WMA's, Refuges, BLM and National parks by writing on a slip of paper and placing it in a box. National forest I can stop on a trail head and walk in. One cannot hunt year round; must pay and log in on site. The birding club fees I pay are not to purchase or manage lands, but to promote the sport. There is a few Audubon owned lands (Believe they were donated )that charge a entrance fee (very small amount)and the work them is on those are volunteer. I like Jurek comment on the idea of being (free) and younger people being able to enjoy wild areas. There is a huge separation in the ages that are able to enjoy wild areas, due to costs. Your point well made. Then his second point on the numbers of birders compared to hunters. If birders paid the share, then there be more control and access. Hunters are not profiting ( currency) from killing an animal, yes they remove it. One might then argue that photographers can not profit from it once it is dead. But how does the photographer pay for land management if he walks on the area and take a photo? It then goes in his shop or online. Birder adds a tick form a non-game bird from that area in a non-hunting season. How did the birder pay for the land or management of the land?

The Pittman–Robertson Act took over a pre-existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition.[7][8] Instead of going into the U.S. Treasury as it had done in the past, the money is kept separate and is given to the Secretary of the Interior to distribute to the States.[4][8][9] The Secretary determines how much to give to each state based on a formula that takes into account both the area of the state and its number of licensed hunters.

States must fulfill certain requirements to use the money apportioned to them. None of the money from their hunting license sales may be used by anyone other than the states' fish and game department.[3][6][8] Plans for what to do with the money must be submitted to and approved by the Secretary of the Interior.[6] Acceptable options include research, surveys, management of wildlife and/or habitat, and acquisition or lease of land.[1][6][10] Once a plan has been approved, the state must pay the full cost and is later reimbursed for up to 75% of that cost through P–R funds.[1][3][10] The 25% of the cost that the state must pay generally comes from its hunting license sales.[1] If, for whatever reason, any of the federal money does not get spent, after two years that money is then reallocated to the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.[6][9]

In the 1970s, amendments created a 10% tax on handguns and their ammunition and accessories as well as an 11% tax on archery equipment.[1][2][3][8][10] It was also mandated for half of the money from each of the new taxes to be used to educate and train hunters by the creation and maintenance of hunter safety classes and shooting/target ranges.[1][2][3][10]

The Federal Duck Stamp, formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, is an adhesive stamp issued by the United States federal government that must be purchased prior to hunting for migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese.[1] It is also used to gain entrance to National Wildlife Refuges that normally charge for admission.[1] It is widely seen as a collectable and a means to raise funds for wetland conservation, with 98% of the proceeds of each sale going to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

President Herbert Hoover signed the Migratory Bird Conservation Act in 1929 to authorize the acquisition and preservation of wetlands as waterfowl habitat. The law, however, did not provide a permanent source of money to buy and preserve the wetlands. On March 16, 1934, Congress passed, and President Roosevelt signed, the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, popularly known as the Duck Stamp Act.[2]
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:14   #15
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So I'm a little confused...are we talking about paying to go to certain types of conservation lands, wildlife refuges, or other protected spaces with your usual walking trails, maybe a small picnic area, maybe a fishing dock, but otherwise just a bunch of curated trails through the area and fences around the protected spaces?

I'm also confused by a perhaps erroneous assumption: I thought my taxes to the state, in all their myriad forms, went to some little budget somewhere to keep-up these sorts of (non-hunting) areas?

Now if I wanted to sightsee on Ducks Unlimited lands (the only example I have a passing knowledge of in California), I assume I'd have to join and/or pay a fee and I get that; it's essentially private land made open to the public.

You'll excuse any apparent or real navet: I've spent my entire life in the San Francisco Bay Area and am surrounded by a myriad forms of open/nature/wildlife/park spaces that I just take for granted and enjoy.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:24   #16
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How would something like that be regulated? Anyhow, many national wildlife refuges already have an entrance fee.


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A detail—along with others—to be worked out. Shouldn’t be all that difficult to come up with something that ensures birders and bird photographers (the overlap, alas, is only partial!) pay their fair shares
My thought also. How on earth would this be regulated and policed?

Missouri (US) has what's called a design for conservation sales tax. Since 1976, one eighth of one cent per dollar of taxable items bought, including food is levied state wide, unilaterally. During the time between my first post and this one here, sources I've found indicate over $1.5 billion has been generated for conservation since this tax became law in 1976. Those monies are in addition to another 40 percent of the annual conservation budget. Other US states base their plans on this tax.

Any taxpayer here crunching tax numbers would be suspicious of still more regulatory taxes being levied.


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My biggest concern (anywhere in the world) is people being 'accidentally' shot by 'hunters'.

I'm just flat out anti-hunting, though I do support the controlled, humane, destruction/harvesting of 'ferals' (even by bullet - as long as they are brain shot - and die in ~ 1/10,000th of a second).
Here in the states, there's an ongoing effort to get away from the word "conservation" Instead, authorities use words and phrases such as "wildlife management" or "natural resource management". Phrasing indicating an anthropogenic evolution. Or, people adapting these areas to needs.
To do that, most states here subscribe to a hollistic approach of letting areas heal themselves. Not conserving pristine wilderness. It's more often a case of urban landscapes left to go feral. Only treatment given are controlled burns, mechanical brush cutting, and managed hunting...that allegedly does as the once wild did. More taxes added on top of earmarked taxes already are not going to fly or stop hunting.

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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:40   #17
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I have yet to find where birders are paying for the activity, purchase of lands, research, and management. If so please let me know! ...


The Federal Duck Stamp, formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, is an adhesive stamp issued by the United States federal government that must be purchased prior to hunting for migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese.[1] It is also used to gain entrance to National Wildlife Refuges that normally charge for admission.[1] It is widely seen as a collectable and a means to raise funds for wetland conservation, with 98% of the proceeds of each sale going to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

[2]
Most birders already know what the duck stamp is and I know plenty of birders buy them. I buy a duck stamp every year up at a wildlife nature preserve which prohibits hunting except for sanctioned deer hunting every so often when populations need to be controlled. The welcome center/nature store where I buy mine say they sell pretty well. Many of us purchase yearly Audubon memberships, Cornell Lab memberships, etc. We also give donations directly to local preserves. I need to get my will done at some point in the near future and already decided I'll leave practically everything to NJ land conservation orgs.

This is an old argument from hunters who have this idea that birders do nothing for conservation. This is simply not true.

A few years ago or so on this forum I suggested a yearly fee in the form of a new birding stamp, license or something to keep preserved areas going. I received quite a bit of hostility and never brought it up again. I was simply throwing the idea out there and using examples such as fishing licenses, duck stamps and the like. I just wanted to see if the idea of a small yearly required fee towards conservation would be acceptable or not...it wasn't ! People pointed out they already give donations, buy duck stamps, etc. and these are valid points.

I still would be OK with a yearly required small fee or a birding stamp or something like that. I don't know where my taxes are really going. It's not a popular idea and don't think it will ever happen. We have to just hope people who go birding and take photos on these lands think about helping to support them.

In NJ we seem to be losing open space and woodlands at an alarming rate. Lots of woods, fields and farms where I grew up are gone and replaced with townhomes, apartments, large homes, commercial buildings and on and on...it's depressing. I know this is happening everywhere else too, but in my area it seems we're full ... yet they keep building and people keep pouring in , more cars added to the roads and seems there's no end to it.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:48   #18
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My thought also. How on earth would this be regulated and policed?

Missouri (US) has what's called a design for conservation sales tax. Since 1976, one eighth of one cent per dollar of taxable items bought, including food is levied state wide, unilaterally. During the time between my first post and this one here, sources I've found indicate over $1.5 billion has been generated for conservation since this tax became law in 1976. Those monies are in addition to another 40 percent of the annual conservation budget. Other US states base their plans on this tax.

Any taxpayer here crunching tax numbers would be suspicious of still more regulatory taxes being levied.




Here in the states, there's an ongoing effort to get away from the word "conservation" Instead, authorities use words and phrases such as "wildlife management" or "natural resource management". Phrasing indicating an anthropogenic evolution. Or, people adapting these areas to needs.
To do that, most states here subscribe to a hollistic approach of letting areas heal themselves. Not conserving pristine wilderness. It's more often a case of urban landscapes left to go feral. Only treatment given are controlled burns, mechanical brush cutting, and managed hunting...that allegedly does as the once wild did. More taxes added on top of earmarked taxes already are not going to fly or stop hunting.
Interesting info BB ... some stuff I wasn't aware of.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:59   #19
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This all strikes me as a non issue. Are birders really impacting hunting areas? I know I've been impacted by hunters on public lands while birding. Our collective tax dollars are used for public lands generally and from what I've seen in the Western US is that birders have little or no impact.

On private or semi private reserves for hunting, then charge an admittance fee if it's a problem. I, personally, don't want to be around hunters. They are disruptive (gun fire) and, foremost, I don't want to get shot!

jurek- "birding is already paid activity in South Texas and most other Third World countries."
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 19:06   #20
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Is Texas birder a Russian troll? Just joined BF. First post. Poor command of English and a pretty unsophisticated attempt to drive a wedge between two outdoor communities.
Sorry to fall for it. :(
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 19:10   #21
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Thanks Bird_Bill I looked up the conservation sales tax and sadly enough it has lapse in Washington since SET. 30. I was not aware of such a act. I just saw the 5-11 hunting permits here, plus the federal permits, access fee to state and federal land. Good info



https://elpasoheraldpost.com/texas-p...ervation-fund/
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 19:26   #22
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This is surely an American thing, AFAIK, there is no shooting on land in the UK that is designated as a 'reserve' that birders pay to use, it's anathema to UK birders to have shooting on the same site where they enjoy birdwatching.

There will be 'pest' control of sorts on some sites but no paid shoots, operate on our reserves that I know of, some are close to reserves on the East coast but not actually on e'g RSPB land though I stand to be corrected.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 19:37   #23
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As Andy suggests, not on bird reserves but right next to them eg. Blakeney wildfowlers right next to the West Bank at Cley and Burnham Overy wildfowlers just West of Holkham NNR. It's a difficult one as "tradition" still plays a big part. Whilst I've personally witnessed Canada geese and duck being blasted out of the evening Norfolk skies I've also seen dogs and beaters go onto reserve land to retrieve downed ducks and pheasants.
We pay for birding in the UK through permits, memberships, donations, retail and legacies. I paid when at Point Pelee, Canada and some reserves in the USA.
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Old Friday 14th December 2018, 22:18   #24
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...... I have yet to find where birders are paying for the activity, purchase of lands, research, and management. If so please let me know!
It's called Taxation ! General Revenue. Tax Tax Tax - myriad forms of tax that stack upon each other paid by the ordinary person just for existing on inherently free land. Any further calls for taxation and you run the risk of ending up as fugl's new best friend ! :)
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Originally Posted by texas birder View Post
..... I like Jurek comment on the idea of being (free) and younger people being able to enjoy wild areas. There is a huge separation in the ages that are able to enjoy wild areas, due to costs. Your point well made. Then his second point on the numbers of birders compared to hunters. If birders paid the share, then there be more control and access. Hunters are not profiting ( currency) from killing an animal, yes they remove it. One might then argue that photographers can not profit from it once it is dead. But how does the photographer pay for land management if he walks on the area and take a photo? It then goes in his shop or online. Birder adds a tick form a non-game bird from that area in a non-hunting season. How did the birder pay for the land or management of the land?
Do HunTers profit? jollies (for whatever that is worth), animal products (skins, feathers, antlers, horns, meat, etc, even photos etc) - whether it is economical or not from the point of return on investment only they could say. It would likely include intangibles such as personal satisfaction and fulfillment, and elements of madness, like enjoying the peace and serenity of the outdoors and fresh air and wildlife - just prior to blammming away to injure or end the life of some unfortunate critter! As you say, this then removes the opportunity for that animal to be utilised many fold times sustainably for observation, appreciation, photography (hobby or professional), etc - notwithstanding the fact of a right to an inherent existence.

Even if a photograph is taken of a bird or animal and sold or used commercially, that 'transformation process' (in strict economic and accounting terminology) has already contributed umpteen times to the economy - income tax, sales tax on all forms of equipment, fuel excise, sales tax on nascent and local tourism (more sales taxes - food, accommodation, etc), and contributed to the economy in a myriad ways - production/import/sales of equipment for the activity, travel, housing, and consumption (food, entertainment, etc) and all the information technology and communications development, subscription, usage and taxation, and a whole host of other things, and all the employment and economic benefit that contributes too, and in turn all the taxes that then contributes.

And that's probably just scratching the surface .......





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Old Sunday 16th December 2018, 09:51   #25
Bird_Bill
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Originally Posted by texas birder View Post
Thanks Bird_Bill I looked up the conservation sales tax and sadly enough it has lapse in Washington since SET. 30. I was not aware of such a act. I just saw the 5-11 hunting permits here, plus the federal permits, access fee to state and federal land. Good info
You're welcomed, TB

Yes, Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was stricken a short time ago. It applies to every state, equally. Those funding avenues that benefit everyone are gone. That was done by the current house and senate, and upon the presidents insistence. The trade off was (is?) the private sector like Huawei, or Trump Industrial Properties LLC will step in and do the right thing.

The design for conservation tax I mentioned is a Missouri state tax, that applies to all sales transactions within the state.

In my opinion, "design" is a good tax, in that it benefits nature, and everyone pays.
One example, "design" has paid for over 200,000 acres of ground, restored to the public trust as managed conservation areas.

So far as various firearms taxes and hunting-fishing fees goes....
I can't come up with any properties publicly owned and opened to everyone as multi-use properties. Why should birders be treated differently?


For years, publicly owned properties, from small city parks, to the largest national park have levied fees against commercial photographers for using the property for profit...in essence exploiting for profit. Whether a single professional photographing a wedding party in a city park, or, a major film studio production shot in a national park, special user fees apply.

Here's what I propose....when verizon-oath-aol-yahoo, or google, or facebook roots through users content, including bird photographs...and exploits the metrics...then those entities should be taxed, and taxed heavily. Those entities use algorithms and keywords to commercially exploit in a way that's no different than game poachers. Tax the trolls too.
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