Sunday, January 06, 2008
Sometimes Love Is Taxing
The lake where these ibis reside, the same lake where the sandhills strut, is wild today because of well spent tax dollars.
Were it not so, the trees would be gone, and tiny lots with big houses would surround the lake.
Some of these well spent taxes were chipped in by all, but much of the money comes from hunters and fisherfolk who pay extra taxes on ammo and fishing gear.
My header says that I don't just admire nature I participate. There's lots of ways I do that, but part of my participation is consumptive use.
I've hunted, don't now, but could restart at any time.
I fish (not often enough) and it's not all catch and release.
For every consumptive use, there's a license or permit that is used to support wildlife. I grumble as I pay the license fees, but in my heart, I know it's a good thing. There's the freshwater license fee, the saltwater license fee, hunting license fee, wildlife management area permit fee, snook fee, tarpon fee, lobster fee, and the grandaddy of all conservation fees ... the Federal Duck Stamp.
Just the Federal Duck Stamp alone has contributed over $700 million and protected over 5 million acres of wetland habitat since 1934. (Thank you Ding)
Florida has benefited immensely from duck stamp purchases. Go to that link, find your state, and see how this amazing program works for you.
Ninety eight cents of every dollar spent on duck stamps goes directly to habitat preservation.
You can be vigorously antihunting and still purchase duck stamps to protect habitat ... and you should.
Can you think of any government program that approaches that level of financial efficiency?
In fact, I would go so far as to say none of the private organizations ... not even my beloved Nature Conservancy gang can match that, although at 88% efficiency (woohoo!) they are pretty amazing for a large conservation organization.
You can send them all of your money here. The Nature Conservancy will spend some of it internationally though, which is not bad of course, but buying a Federal Duck Stamp too will ensure some bit of American wetland gets protected.
I still quiver and whine like a Labrador Retriever in a duck blind when a flock of ducks fly over me in a cold winter marsh.
If it's taxes that allow me that thrill, then that's a price I'll pay ...
with a minimum of grumbling.