September 29, 2020

One New Hampshire Fish and Game Club Doesn't Like Double-Dipping

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According to a report filed by WCSH-TV out of Portland, Maine, the Androscoggin Valley Fish and Game Association located in Berlin, New Hampshire is pushing Legislators to stop search and rescues on National Forest lands.

The Fish and Game club is passing around a petition that asks state Senator John Gallus to introduce legislation in the upcoming session that would put the cost of such search and rescue efforts back on the federal government.

Representatives of the club say they are double taxed. According to the report, officials of the Association say they have to pay a $20 fee to park their vehicles when they go hunting and fishing and their tax dollars pay for search and rescue that is used for efforts within the National Forest.

I agree that they may be getting hit with a double whammy, I don’t agree in the report’s assessment of how that is done. Currently no tax dollars fund the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department which as part of their duties is to provide search and rescue. What covers the budget expenses, comes from fees collected from licenses and registrations.

I agree that the expense of search and rescue should not fall under fish and game. Whether or not the reasoning behind the petition that members are being double taxed will justify new legislation, remains to be seen. I certainly would sponsor legislation requiring federal tax dollars be used to pay for rescues conducted on National Forest land.

There also needs to be a way to make those in need of being rescued to pay or that the cost and responsibilities of search and rescue fall back onto state and local law enforcement. This is true in many states across the nation.

Tom Remington

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