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birders start paying for birding. (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
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.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
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.
P
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
...... 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 ! :) ;)
..... 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 .......





Chosun :gh:
 

Bird_Bill

Well-known member
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.
 

Jhanlon

Well-known member
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.

It’s not a refuge if you’re allowed to hunt there though is it? I’m fed up of hunters claiming they’re conserving the natural world when they’re doing no such thing. Here in Britain they claim the same whilst having the nerve to shoot over nature reserves where the wildlife is supposed to be protected. Wildfowlers buy pockets of land bordering important refuges then kill stuff unchecked. 40 million pheasants and partridges released annually, non native species with more biomass than the entire native breeding bird population. Illegal of course or would be were it not for the legal loophole used that these are ‘livestock’. They’re not. And all for a grossly distorted ecosystem favouring hunters’ quarry and with anything predatory systematically removed, eg on thousands of square miles of intensively managed grouse moorland.

It’s about time it’s realised hunting and conservation are flip sides of a coin. You don’t conserve wildlife by killing it. Conservation for hunting is not true conservation. Never has been and never will be. Don’t know about the US but in the U.K. the hunting industry gets away with anything. Fox hunting is illegal but police turn a blind eye as the government sponsors are keen hunters and claim it’s a legal version of hunting.

Don’t try to bridge the divide between birding and hunting. You’re either one of them and turned on by the killing or one of us, and one who cares about birds. I’m not saying we shouldn’t kill animals for food but the shooting industry here at least is out of control and lacking in any morality whatsoever. That’s why hunting is offensive to most birders. Birds need REAL conservation not to be treated as just another commodity.
 

poledark

Well-known member
Jhanlon, can't put it any better than that. Where I live (middle of farm land) they release hundreds of pheasant etc, and use them as an excuse to kill foxes.

Den
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
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.
I didn't know that, is it really that bad? I'm used to reserves being free to access, even those managed by private foundations.


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.
That's a good point actually - high quality meat is expensive. Also, the extra fee could be justified with the reasoning that hunters are using weapons (which require precautions etc.) while birders aren't.


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.
It would generally exclude or discourage many people, not just young ones.


Most birders already know what the duck stamp is
You mean birders who are either US citizens or well acquainted with American culture. I don't think that's the majority...
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
I didn't know that, is it really that bad? I'm used to reserves being free to access, even those managed by private foundations.

Some of the smaller RSPB and county Wildlife Trust reserves are free but usually they dont have visitor centres, toilets or large car parks. One of the largest RSPB reserves [ Titchwell Marsh ] has a public footpath down one side of the reserve.
 

fugl

Well-known member
. . .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.. .

This is true of just about any human activity under the sun from somnolence before the family TV to bungee jumping. The point of a “birding stamp” would be to bring in extra revenue specifically ear-marked for wildlife conservation, a cause favored (I assume) by everyone here.
 
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dantheman

Bah humbug
Think the original discussion was intended from a US perspective only.

Whilst this is a global forum, I think it just completely confuses the issue and discussion to take it from other nations point of view!!
 

fugl

Well-known member
Think the original discussion was intended from a US perspective only.

Whilst this is a global forum, I think it just completely confuses the issue and discussion to take it from other nations point of view!!

Indeed. Doing so has completely muddied the waters. "Duck stamps" and huge tracts of government-owned land managed mostly for hunting and fishing being, as far as I know, peculiar to the US.
 

mjh73

Well-known member
Australia
Chosun might be surprised to find that if you undertake commercial activity in parks in national parks in Australia then you need to register, pay a fee and have appropriate insurance (the latter is actually the big $ expense)
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Chosun might be surprised to find that if you undertake commercial activity in parks in national parks in Australia then you need to register, pay a fee and have appropriate insurance (the latter is actually the big $ expense)
Yes, I am aware this is the situation for larger commercial enterprises (film making, tours etc, ), but as far as I know this doesn't apply to amateur /casual hobby /incidental photographers Jane Citizen /Joe Bloggs and/or Fred Nerkus ! - nor should it :)
Incidently, the big $ insurance costs are a huge impost on the emerging and burgeoning business of farmers diversifying into farm stay camping.

This user pays upon user pays upon user pays upon general taxation and revenue is a disgusting enslavement of populations that leads to nothing but big fat bloated unproductive bureaucracies and governments.

I find the position in the US (and the views of some hunters there) rather off putting.

From what I have seen of "duck hunting" anywhere it is a barbaric, disturbing activity, with much injured wildlife, collateral damage, and misidentified threatened and endangered species slaughtered. It definitely doesn't pass my humane 1/10,000th of a second brain shot benchmark. Flinging a boomerang around to feed your family is one thing, but blammming away for "fun" is just off.



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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.
GiGi,

Buying a duck stamp sounds like an empowering thing to do in the face of a depressing situation.

Still, all areas should be inherently preserved, rather than paid for as a conservation "expense" (multiple times by a few).

The Government likes a population that is effectively blind to the purpose of revenue just fine - get those rats running so fast and endlessly on the wheel that they don't have time to think or question. It used to be (mostly) that the populations taxation was put to collective good use - productively, and invested for the (your) future. Now, a lot of it is used to fuel the big fat bloated unproductive machine - any thoughts of investing for the future gone, and in fact the timeline pushed out so far that our present and near future expenses and needs will be paid by the taxation of future generations in an ever expanding growth ponzi scheme.

We too have precious woodlands being swallowed up for the suburban sprawl. Canberra and it's suburbs are a case in point. Particularly hard hit are the mature tree dependent Barking Owl, and Little Eagle. Nothing seems to stop this madness.

I have already done something very similar with my will. Apart from looking after my parents, the rest will go to making a permanently protected National Park out of repaired and restored degraded lands using Natural Sequence Farming techniques.

The US is a very strange country with all its macho gun ownership and hunting. Yuck. The first time I saw the reality of "duck hunting" it sickened me.

Your country is a little different to ours in that a lot of your major predators (Cougars, Wolves, Bears) are 'potentially' intact, and so your lands don't need as much management as ours.

Our country is now full of destructive feral animals (Foxes, Feral, Cats, Pigs, Goats, Dogs, Water Buffalo, Deer, Brumbys, Camels, Hares, Rabbits, Rats, House Mice, Cane Toads, European Carp, Mosquito Fish, Starlings, Sparrows, etc ..... the list seems endless). Add to this all the Feral Weeds, and now RC model planes, Helicopters, and Drones, ........ the negative impacts are massive.

I am all for the productive, controlled, destruction/harvesting of these pests, and have even done some myself during my target shooting days. Being trained, I consider myself a well above average marksperson, and yet I know all too well how easy it is to miss. I used to feel it was quite important conservation work (especially to help our decimated native fauna), but in the end couldn't stomach it, and was happy to leave it to the full time professionals. I shudder to think of the carnage and misery the average "hunter" is causing.

It is indeed a very strange country that you live in - massive (sanctioned) corruption and exploitation, yet strong civil activism and conservation, massive scale industrial agriculture, yet solid Regenerative agriculture movements, mass surveillance by government (official, and shadow), and yet courageous defence of freedoms ....... all rather wonderful ! :)

All I can say is that I empathize, and Good Luck!



Chosun :gh:
 
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CalvinFold

Registered User
Supporter
It used to be (mostly) that the populations taxation was put to collective good use - productively, and invested for the (your) future. Now, a lot of it is used to fuel the big fat bloated unproductive machine - any thoughts of investing for the future gone, and in fact the timeline pushed out so far that our present and near future expenses and needs will be paid by the taxation of future generations in an ever expanding growth ponzi scheme.
You've summed-up how our government works quite well, at least for the last 30 years.

I never could reconcile how I have to manage my finances vs. how the government does. The math hasn't made sense to me for a long time.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
This is true of just about any human activity under the sun from somnolence before the family TV to bungee jumping. The point of a “birding stamp” would be to bring in extra revenue specifically ear-marked for wildlife conservation, a cause favored (I assume) by everyone here.
I think there's good reasons that hunters in the US have to buy stamps and birders don't (over here, it's somewhat similar - hunting is an expensive hobby because you either pay a licence for a certain territory, or you pay the holder of said licence to hunt on it). I've tried to outline it above:
- firstly, successful hunters have the option to get quality meat in return for their investment,
- secondly, hunters are handling weapons (potential security risk) while birders aren't,
- thirdly, even a skilled and careful hunter will cause a disturbance if it comes to the shot. Particularly if you're using firearms, which have a habit of scaring animals all around. When using less intrusive tools (like bows), the chance of a miss, and therefore an injured animal, is higher.

I'd say if you want to introduce a birder stamp, make it optional. That way, those who have the means to make an extra contribution can do so, while those who don't can still enjoy nature reserves.


Yes, of course I'm referring to most birders in the U.S and our federal duck stamp. I should have specified.
Sorry for being so pedantic. It's just that sometimes people are communicating in a way that's too implicit, IMO.
 

fugl

Well-known member
. I'd say if you want to introduce a birder stamp, make it optional. That way, those who have the means to make an extra contribution can do so, while those who don't can still enjoy nature reserves. . ..

That would be one option certainly. But the same point could be raised in connection with duck hunters most of whom aren’t particularly affluent. That is, American hunters; the situation is otherwise in much of Europe (of course) where “wild fowling” is traditionally a rich man’s pastime.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
That would be one option certainly. But the same point could be raised in connection with duck hunters most of whom aren’t particularly affluent. That is, American hunters; the situation is otherwise in much of Europe (of course) where “wild fowling” is traditionally a rich man’s pastime.
Actually, you'll find that in Southern European countries bird hunting is practiced by people from all income classes (particularly if commercial or "for the lulz"). Which correlates with their disastrous record regarding migrant birds.

That said, maybe duck stamps should be optional (I thought they used to be, anyway?).
But levying a tax on birding would be disastrous and cement its image as a rich people's sport, giving credit to the identity politics crowd who're already bemoaning the lack of "diversity" in the field. IOW, good luck getting any of this past the Dems.
 
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