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<span style="font-weight: bold">November 01, 2012</span>


<span style="font-weight: bold">In August of 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 aimed at cutting the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years by mandating automatic spending caps on the federal government’s nondefense-related, mandatory and discretionary spending – known as sequestration</span>. <span style="color: #FF0000">This legislation requires that 7.6% of the nation’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs and Boating Safety Trust Fund – collectively called the Trust Funds – be “sequestered” or withheld from distribution to the states.</span> The Trust Funds are the lifeblood of state fish and wildlife agencies’ day-to-day operating budgets and are used exclusively to restore and manage fisheries and wildlife and their habitats; open and maintain recreational access for all (including shooting ranges); and deliver hunter and boating safety education.

By withholding 7.6% of these Trust Funds, the Budget Control Act of 2011 will adversely affect states’ ability to manage their fish and wildlife resources in the public interest and cut millions of dollars available for fish, wildlife and habitat conservation and hunting, angling, boating and recreational shooting activities in each state. <span style="font-weight: bold">Some states will lose more than $1 million from their operating budgets due to sequestration in 2013.</span> Each state fish and wildlife agency and boating administrator will have to determine where to make cuts to balance their reduced budgets if budget sequestration as written takes effect. <span style="font-weight: bold">At risk are applied fish and wildlife research; public access to Wildlife Management Areas; fish hatcheries and fish stocking programs; hunter safety and education courses; boating safety and education courses and shooting ranges.</span> ......

Additionally, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration laws require states to provide a 25% non-federal, state-funded match to receive the 75% allocated from their Trust Funds. If annual Trust Funds are withheld from apportionment and “banked,” states may not be able to raise the significant match or have carry-forward spending authority when the funds are released.

State agencies and boating administrators spend Trust Fund dollars, not the federal government. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service serves as the pass-through mechanism for distributing Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds to state fish and wildlife agencies, and similarly, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the Boating Safety Trust Fund. <span style="font-weight: bold">Members of the wildlife, sport fish, hunting, fishing, boating and conservation community and industry agree that sequestering the spending authority of these inviolable Trust Funds to states is a breach of faith and violates the intent of the “user pays-public benefits” system of fish and wildlife conservation and access in the U.S.</span>


CSF is currently working with the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council – of which CSF President Jeff Crane is a member - to send a letter to Secretary Salazar, requesting that he ask the Office of Management and Budget to provide an exemption from sequestration for the Trust Funds and to work with Congress on creating a more permanent solution to this problem. We will keep you appraised as efforts to protect state fish and wildlife agency conservation funding moves forward.



http://www.sportsmenslink.org/the-media-...sh-and-wildlife
 

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On a smaller scale, somewhat similar to what Rendell did with various state agency funds to balance his last budget.

Had he been able to tap PGC funds, that would've also happened. Other states without separate/independent wildlife agencies have been subjected to this for years.

And on that note, the Corbett Admin. also cut the PGC's budget (all agencies must submit a budget for approval), even though it doesn't involve state taxpayer's money like all the other agencies under the Gov's office, does.

So in effect, they're telling PGC how to spend its own funds that didn't stem from PA tax monies.

Now PGC must "go begging" to the Admin. to receive permission to spend its own money on dealing with the recent advent of CWD in PA.



We've seen this all before, federally. Why do ya think our SS funds are in such dire straits? Because the federal government has essentially been stealing from SS for many, many years, to fund other programs.

Now they've decided to steal our P-R funds for the same reasons.

Whenever there's a pot of money around, some politicians won't rest until they can "get at it", to whizz it away on their own projects.
 

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We've seen this all before, federally. Why do ya think our SS funds are in such dire straits? Because the federal government has essentially been stealing from SS for many, many years, to fund other programs.
That's right. Which is why I vehemently argued with Bumblehick on another thread. SS, on the surface, has a chance to work, if PROPERLY managed. Therein lies the rub. That said, I'd have not problem keeping the money I earn to invest for myself, but I don't want the Feds. telling me I can't get it after having xx years of it stolen from me. Touchy subject for me, and got me a bit OT.
 

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Wow the Feds are theives!! Every fund should be seperate and not available to use except what they are intended. If the Feds are going to steal from them they might as well just have 1 big general fund. Of course it`s still stealing because then our money will go to stuff we really don`t want it to go. I hate the Govt
 

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As some know, I am a state agency wildlife biologist in the state I currently reside. I had an opportunity to sit through a 2 day section meeting 2 weeks ago and our assistant director gave us a an update on this.

In all about 65 million will be cut from the WSFR funds. This will actually not effectively affect the Pittman-Robertson funds as much as Dingel-Johnson due to what is termed the "Obama bump". The Obama bump is the bump in PR funds due to the increased sales of firearms and ammo when Obama took office. PR allocations over the past 4 years have increase by over 50%. In fact, some states are actually having a hard time using their entire apportionment of PR funds due to insufficient non-federal matching funds as budgets of state wildlife agencies that receive general funds have been cut by over 40% in some cases. What many of the agencies have figured out is that they can become more self-sustaining and not need general funding. This may be a good example for those who want to see the PGC and PFBC combined under some other state agency.

The sequestration will undoubtedly hurt DJ funds as they did not receive the Obama bump. State Wildlife Grants have already been taking a major hit over the past few years and this is putting more pressure on wildlife agencies to also manage other wildlife for which they are responsible with less funding. Of course they can not use the PR or DJ money specifically for non hook and bullet type projects but may have to become more creative in their management of lands to also include practices that will help game species but also not negatively impact nongame species.

Another interesting point made by the director was that in 2011, there were 10 cases across the country where state legislatures tried to either sell or use lands purchased with PR funds for some non-hunting use. In all 10 cases, the attempts were blocked by the provisions of PR.

With this said, I'm not as worried about sequestration as I am congress working to repeal or amend PR or DJ to allow these kind of actions to legally take place.
 
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