Let Albany know we’re out here

It’s been a long time since I’ve walked a protest/picket line.
Young, restless, college kid, you know. And it didn’t even make a
difference. My major was discontinued and the university moved on.
Why would we think they would listen to a ragtag bunch of broadcast
students, anyway?

Things are different now, though. We’ve grown up, washed up and
smartened up.

This time, we can make a difference.

Because it’s not just a couple of kids parading in front of some
administration building; on March 20, a whole stateful of sportsmen
can take their case to Albany – and let them know that we’re out
here.

With the Third Annual Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative
Awareness Day, we can take our place along the other lobbyists and
PACs that make their way through the capital (many of whom lobby
against us on a regular basis). It’s important that legislators
know we are here and we care. If your voice isn’t heard, it’s like
you don’t have one at all. And you’re easy to push aside.

Of course, the day will be filled with the usual pleas of gun
rights, but there are many other things we can also remind
lawmakers about.

How about letting DEC spend the money they’ve already collected
from us? As the Conservation Fund hovers around $40 million ($40
million of our money), DEC is being squeezed by budget cuts and
soon, if it hasn’t already, it will have to affect programs and
services.

Imagine what that $40 million could do. How about filling some of
the vacancies in the Fish and Wildlife division at DEC? How about
some habitat improvement? How about a new training academy for a
new class of ECOs? How about freeing up some funds so the few left
at DEC could actually get out and travel to the fish and wildlife
instead of sitting in office buildings? How about some marketing
money to bring hunters and, especially anglers, into the state
(which would in turn bring more license revenues, hotel/motel
revenues, food service revenues, gas and transportation revenues;
you get the idea)? How about a comprehensive marketing program to
get not only the youngsters, but the Boomers who have time, money
and interest in getting out in the field?

Yeah, but March 20 is a Tuesday and it’s a work day and Albany is
3-4-5 hours away.

Yeah, but…

Got a computer? Send an email.

Got a piece of paper and a pencil? Send a letter (remember
those?).

We get a lot of letters here at New York Outdoor News, so I know
you all can write. If you can’t get to Albany next month, let your
legislator know you’re still out here. And you care.

We’ll see what a bunch of old(er), restless sportsmen can do.

 

Categories: New York – Paula Piatt

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