I always thought the NY DEC, the so called experts, had the authority to manage wildlife in the state of New York. But recently, the DEC has given county legislators the option for their county to …
I always thought the NY DEC, the so called experts, had the authority to manage wildlife in the state of New York. But recently, the DEC has given county legislators the option for their county to participate in, or opt-out of, the DEC’s Holiday Deer Hunt. Do county legislators have the expertise and knowledge to make environmental decisions that will benefit wildlife and help to improve the economy in their county?
Larry Becker, a member of the New York State Legislature Sportsman’s Caucus, wrote an article in the NY Outdoor News newspaper about this topic. He states that the recent movement on the part of state Legislature, the DEC and certain sportsmen’s groups towards having counties opt-in or opt-out of laws and regulations is setting the stage to change how we manage wildlife, hunting, trapping and fishing seasons in our state.
Larry goes on to discuss how the DEC has proposed a regulation to allow counties to opt-out of the so-called Holiday Deer Hunt. The main concern is the precedent this is setting. Unfortunately, that concern is now taking root and the DEC is heading the charge with the regulation opt-out proposal. We are heading down the road of political wildlife management rather than scientific.
Larry continues by saying, “Imagine the confusion hunters and law enforcement would have with this opt-out regulation if hunting in a Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) that overlaps into other counties. What if one or two counties opt-out and the rest do not? Will the hunters know which counties they can hunt within a given WMU? What happens if a wounded deer runs over the line into an opt-out county?”
Becker also states, this opt-out regulation also shifts the tough decision making, and blame or credit, away from the NY Legislature and the DEC, to local counties. It has the potential of causing ill-will between sportsmen and women among themselves and between them and their county legislators. It will also divert time and money within the counties dealing with wildlife seasons and wildlife management as opposed to dealing with other important county issues.
After stating other complications that the opt-out regulation may cause Larry concluded, we need to oppose all opt-in and all opt-out efforts now and in the future. We also need to educate our legislators on the potential negative impact on scientific wildlife management.
Congratulations to my 14-year-old grandson Brayden Danchak from Milltown, NJ, who took his first deer, a 5-point buck, while hunting in Bethel.
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