Turkey hunting and fishing headline, but other important issues are surfacing

Of course the main event news is the beginning of our spring turkey hunting season on Sunday, and letís not forget the opening of walleye, pike and pickerel fishing seasons on May7. Whether you hunt, fish, both or just enjoy the outdoors, itís been a long winter since the holidays and an even worse month of April. People are truly primed for some outdoor recreation accompanied by some decent weather.

But rather than go into great detail on this yearís outlooks for our hunting and fishing, I felt itís even more important to bring readers up to some recent issues that could have impacts on our outdoor activities.

North Country Assembly members to challenge Governor and Div. of Budget on possible misuse of Conservation Fund monies.

As reportedly preciously in this column, thereís been concern that the current administration and Div. of Budget may be planning to or already have dipped into the Conservation Fund for use in funding non-conservation projects to ease the stateís large budget deficit. Although budget cuts have heavily impacted our area, like the closing of Rogers Center, but it could hit the tourism businesses up north even harder, especially given the soaring cost of gas.

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.†

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