Itís reality check time for a lot of elected downstate legislators

Sometimes trying to compose a truly informative and useful outdoor column can be a test of should readers know this, or do they care? Itís pretty easy to write about how good or poor the current fishing conditions are, or pass along some useful tips garnered from sportsmen and women who are having success. But our stateís outdoor recreational world - especially the portions run by the various divisions within the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation -is anything but consistent and can change at the whim of a powerful political group.

Make no mistake, the NYSDEC may administer the various regulations that allow us to recreate in our stateís outdoors, and it manages the habitat and fish and wildlife that are part of it, but only to the extent the state legislature deems appropriate, and that falls back on what bills are supported and what ones are deemed ďunfavorableĒ to pass, often based on regional interests. And usually the dividing line as to legislation success or failure lies quite squarely between upstate and downstate political power, with the latter usually, but not always, winning.

As our state financial health has taken more hits than it could stand, obviously a lot of cutting and slashing had to occur in Albanyís Div. of Budget. Despite the upstate/downstate legislative tug of war, the end result was no politician in Albany was very happy at the inequity as it applied to their regional interest and voter support. Downstate powers, accustomed to getting their way in the legislative sessions, seemed especially irritated that they, like the rest of the state had to ďbite the bulletĒ for a while or at least until the stateís economy improved.

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