Few of them are as large as PA either. Nor do most of them have 1.4 million acres of public land to maintain.
You keep bringing up the revenue, but you miss that about $35 mil essentially static year to year. That to pay expenses until the yearly influx of revenue starts to appear in June.
As stated before, and as a long time former resident of Maryland - that general funding (taxpayer’s dollars) make wildlife management political. The bear season was a key issue in the governor’s race about five years ago or so. Ads to the city dwellers presented the poor bears in peril from the evil hunters as standalone campaign ads. MD's rural population can not overcome Baltimore and the DC suburb's voting clout.
The appeal was to the uninformed and ultra-compassionate.
The general funding is also why hunting is almost a side issue for the DNR. The largest portion of the overall budget MDDNR has goes to activities and enforcement of Bay related issues. The bay is king and all else gets what is left over. Forest wildlife suffers. MD has no real deer program other the roulette board they use for setting deer harvests allowed.
Really, communication with the MD biologist is clear they really maintain or seek data on the deer herd. They are not shy in telling anyone asking that as well.
Oh yeah – just for the record:
DNR’s FY10 total Operating Budget allowance is roughly $213 million, an approximate $22 million (10.3%) increase from our FY09 working appropriation.
But MD DNR is everything – hunting / fishing / parks / forestry so that needs to be taken into account.