Please Stand-Up and Voice Your Opposition to the Closing!
As we have reported, Governor David Paterson (D) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Chairman Pete Grannis bamboozle sportsmen and taxpayers: Claiming across-the-board spending cuts, the DEC has decided to shutdown the Reynolds Game Farm, a last-of-its-kind preserve in New York where pheasants have been bred and released for hunting since 1927.
Governor Paterson took the dishonesty up a notch yesterday when his office put out a press release claiming to have done something heroic, as the remaining pheasants from the shuttered preserve were donated to feed the poor. The fact is, most hunters do so to feed themselves or they donate the birds to share with others. Stealing from the poor to feed the poor. Should we call him Governor Robin Hood? We think not.
It has a price tag of $750,000-per-year and is entirely funded by Pittman-Robertson monies (millions of dollars in excise taxes collected on all firearm and ammunition purchases), not money from the General Fund.
Hunters will continue to pay the excise taxes when they purchase firearms and/or ammunition, but unless they are willing to fund a private preserve, hunters will now be unable to hunt close to home.
What a slap in the face!
As if that’s not enough, Governor Paterson has ordered the facility to be shut down by the end of the year, even though the money to operate the facility was already budgeted for 2009. While we understand many programs are being cut in this difficult economy, this program should not be one of them.
Not only will this closure sharply affect pheasant hunting in New York by driving pheasant hunters to other states in order to participate in this popular, time-honored type of bird hunting, it raises serious questions about where the Pittman-Robertson monies are being spent.
Please contact Governor Paterson at (518) 474-8390 and DEC Chairman Grannis at (518) 402-8540 and respectfully ask them what they plan to do with the money, if not spend it on operating this farm.