NY Assemblymen Demand Governor Explain Misuse of Sportsmen's Conservation Funds
Jordan, Sayward, Duprey Ask for Explanation from Governor About Sportsmen’s Conservation-Fund Misuse.
New York –-(Ammoland.com)- Recently, Assembly members Tony Jordan (R,C,I-Jackson), Teresa Sayward (R,I-Willsboro), and Janet L. Duprey (R,I-Peru) sent a joint letter to Governor Cuomo requesting a meeting with him to discuss the mishandling of dedicated state conservation funds generated by hunting, fishing and trapping licensing fees.
With across-the-board cuts to all state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the lawmakers want to ensure that conservation funds are used to support outdoor recreation programs and opportunities.
The Assembly members, who represent many sportsmen and whose districts are covered largely by the Adirondack Park, are especially concerned and would like Governor Cuomo to clear up any rumors of a possible Conservation Fund sweep.
“Hunting and fishing are especially important to New York residents and our Upstate economy, and that is why we want to talk to the governor to make sure that the state is using the Conservation Fund as intended, to support New York’s outdoors recreation and opportunities,” said Jordan.
“When we’re being told by the chairman of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board that the money, raised by outdoor licensing fees, is not being used as required by law, it raises a red flag with me. We need to use this dedicated fund to support this important industry and boost our local economies.”
There are 1.4 million sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts in New York who have a $6 billion annual impact of the state’s economy. Recent hikes in licensing fees have made it more expensive for hunters and anglers to do what they love. The use of conservation funds to maintain programs, trails and other related services has been repeatedly denied by the Division of Budget.
“Our sportsmen and women are concerned that the Conservation Fund may be swept for other uses,” said Sayward. “The Conservation Fund should remain as intended, providing support for outdoor recreation and sporting opportunities. I urge Governor Cuomo to act on this issue to ensure that the Conservation Fund is used for its proper purpose.”
“It’s extremely important for the economic vitality, culture, as well as the values of North Country sportsmen and women to protect our region’s heritage and traditions,” said Duprey. “The failure to properly utilize the Conservation Fund, combined with recent reductions at the DEC will directly affect the programs and services that hunters, fishermen, and trappers are paying for through their licensing fees. This is unacceptable. With the large number of sportsmen and women in our state contributing billions to the economy annually, they should not be the target of mismanagement and unfair reductions. I strongly urge the Governor to use the Conservation Fund for its sole purpose – to support hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in the North Country across our great state.”
The Assembly colleagues urge Governor Cuomo to meet with them to preserve this important part of Upstate culture. As always, constituents can contact their legislative representatives by calling Assemblyman Jordan at 518-747-7098, Assemblywoman Sayward at 518-792-4546, or Assemblywoman Duprey at 518-562-1986.