December 18, 2017

Zinke, DOI Continue Inept Ways

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Maybe if Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had a director for the Fish and Wildlife Service, he would have another half-baked brain to help him not screw more things up.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Interior (DOI) it was announced the amount of money each state would be allotted from Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Excise Taxes. These taxes are paid on designated sporting goods and goes to a coffer within the Federal Government. After entities like the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, an environmental group that basically spends most of its money on finding ways to end hunting, trapping and fishing nationwide, a formula is used to return those excise taxes to each state to be used specifically for promoting and enhancing hunting, fishing and trapping. That formula is based on the amount of money collected and the number of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses sold.

However, in this press release, Maine has not been allotted one red cent. How can that be?

It was pointed out to me that the DOI is planning to give Maine $11.2 million in federal wildlife funds (wherever that money comes from) and was suggested that Zinke will make that announcement when he visits Maine to look over the newly designated National Monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters.

However, is it even legal, according to the laws guiding the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson taxes, to exempt any state from receiving the funds that should be coming to them according to that law? It would seem to me that if such a thing were legal, it’s a terrible loophole that could be used as a political tool.

It shouldn’t matter if the DOI intends to give Maine $11 or $11.2 million, by law and by the right thing to do, Maine has excise tax money coming to it and they should get it.

Is this simply some kind of misunderstanding or a misprint? Is the $11.2 million, if it is being sent to Maine, part or all of the money from P-R and D-J? Was Maine left off the press release by error? Is all of this another example of the Trump Administration’s inability to do much of anything right?

Certainly the Federal Government should not be allowed, under any circumstances to exempt any state from receiving funds that should be coming to them. The law wasn’t devised that way and this matter should be corrected.

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