All Idahoans should shoulder costs of wildlife

Idaho Mountain Express says hunters and fishermen need to help in paying the expenses-

This editorial certainly makes sense to me. However, I think we will find opposition to this plan from two interesting forces — wildlife watchers and hunters.  The first is easiest to explain. An unknown number, but probably quite a few watchers, will want to watch without paying (the classic case of freeloading).  Some interest groups that say the represent hunters will oppose it because if watchers pay, they will have more of a say.

I expect the livestock interests will oppose it too because many of them fear the results of having more money for wildlife.  Still, I hope a majority can be built.

Idaho Mountains Express, “Our View: All Idahoans should shoulder costs of wildlife.”

Added. Conservation permit killed in House. By Dusti Hurst. Idaho Reporter. While opponents billed it as a new tax on families and children who want to enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors (how sweet of them!), the fact that Rep. Lenore Barrett of Challis led the charge against it suggests that’s not how the most anti-conservation members really saw it.  As I suggested, however, there was also opposition from those who probably think that wildlife watching should inherently be free even though the area was created to enhance wildlife (such as Democrat James Ruchti of Pocatello)

New Report Measures Wildlife Watching’s Contribution to Nation’s Economy

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has released a report detailing the economic value that wildlife watching contributes to the United States economy.

FWS News Release – October 9, 2008 :

In 2006, the direct expenditures of wildlife watchers generated $122.6 billion in total industrial output.  This resulted in 1,063,482 jobs, a federal tax revenue of $9.3 billion, and a state and local tax revenue of $8.9 billion.  The report details the economic impacts of wildlife watching expenditures by State.  The top 5 States ranked by economic output include California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and New York.  Direct expenditures by wildlife watchers were for items such as cameras, binoculars and bird food, as well as trip-related expenses such as lodging, transportation and food.