If you enjoy hunting and fishing, pay up

I’ve sat and listened to a fair amount of conversation from a number of voices in relation to the license increases being proposed for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat and Game commissions.

Opinion, as one can imagine, has varied greatly, reaching one end of the spectrum for a huge increase opposite the other of being too costly, and every sort of argument in between.

Some of the reasoning I’ve heard on the negative side is a bit unanticipated. The opinion of some seems to be formed on the premise of no reward, proclaimed by the general statement, “I don’t get anything for the money I pay now, so why pay more?”

Others point to much of their money going to fund operational costs, which includes new, computer-equipped vehicles. (I’m not familiar with how the vehicles used by both commissions are built hardware-wise), with their general contention being, “They have too many new trucks with the newest gear already, so why must they buy more?”

There are also a good many that say both commissions designate too much of their budgets for salaries, insurance and, especially, pensions.

Opposite opinion basically says that monetary increases are justifiable to keep these agencies, funded by and large with license sales, solvent and operating in the manner for which they were created.

As for those who feel they are getting “nothing” for what they pay, I’m guessing they belief they’re wasting their money. If that’s true, their best option might be to no longer buying a license from either commission and simply give up those outdoor activities.

For those who feel equipment cut-backs are needed, well, vehicles are a big part of their jobs, and although budget reviews are a good idea, I do not believe there is much in the way of waste here.

And as for the issues of benefits, who, when seeking employment, has not sought the best possible job that produces good pay, insurance coverage and a pension? Of course, these forms of compensation add cost, but they do for all employers. In retrospect, the level of these benefits also attract the best and brightest to be trained and eventually perform the job.

I, for one, would never find fault with license increases for these agencies, especially since it’s been so long without. Ever since I can remember, the cost of living has been on the rise, and it’s no exception with the Game and Fish & Boat commissions.

For my money, the value of my being able to hunt and fish cannot be measured in dollars and cents, because being outdoors has always been my escape from the reality of a world that seems to get crazier each day, and I’ll certainly pay the cost to keep that diversion.

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