(continued from Part 1)
Before I move forward I want to address the proposed youth fishing license fee and a few things that were said last night. First, an eight-dollar fishing license for 16-17 year old anglers is a huge reduction compared to what anglers in this age range are currently paying. If the bill passes as written it’s still a huge victory to those who’ve pushed so hard for free youth fishing license. I won’t share who said this because I know it wasn’t from a negative place, but if I don’t include my thoughts on a few of this person’s statements I’m not doing my job. There was a comment regarding the brave young anglers who testified at a wildlife commission meeting and later at the state capitol in favor of free youth fishing licenses, and I assure you it wasn’t because “they wanted to fish for free”. These “little negotiators” see a few things first hand many adults might be unaware of. Including the declining number of youth anglers, and that all childhoods aren’t created equally. Some kids have no problem asking their parents for a handful of new casting rods and a couple hundred bucks for lures. While others have no one around to ask for anything. Eight dollars to an adult who manages their own finances is a drop in the bucket, but eight dollars for a fishing license to a young person who’s struggling to find enough change for their next meal is a mountain to climb. I understand the importance of getting as much federal money as possible with the sales of an eight-dollar fishing license, but I also see it as hurdle. Albeit an inexpensive hurdle still a hurdle that many potential future anglers won’t be willing or able to jump over. Another comment that was made at last night’s meeting was “nothing in life is free” which I agree. To maximize our opportunities and get as many youth anglers as possible hooked on fishing it might cost us some federal excise tax dollars.
Overall my take on the Future Generations Act is extremely positive. The CPW did an awesome job taking our input into consideration and drafting up a bill that feels like something we all worked together on. Obviously I have strong opinions on the youth fishing license fee, but I hope with outreach licenses mentors like Sam Heckman will be able to make a positive impact through fishing with as many young people as possible.
Fishing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. I’ve committed myself to helping others not only catch more and bigger fish, but also enjoy themselves more while doing so.
Skookshunter, CO 1/25/2018 12:22:17 PM
Thanks for providing us all with updates from the meetings. My frustration kicks in when I hear about all the ideas for more revenue and that's the last thing you hear about said ideas. I understand CPW needs a lot of money, but from my perspective it seems like they have their minds made up on where they're going to get it from and that's additional fees.
Eric Allee (TigerHunter), CO 1/25/2018 12:29:08 PM
Skookshunter: It's a tough nut to crack for us to get folks who don't hunt or fish but enjoy the outdoors to pay their fair share. It's been a topic that's been discussed forever and somehow we never seem to get anywhere with it. However I do think the CPW did a great job overall of listening to suggestions this time around.
Skookshunter, CO 1/25/2018 12:55:08 PM
I would agree with that. The last 2 FoCo meetings seemed to go better than the one we initially had last year about the fee increases.
Smelly, CO 1/25/2018 2:32:30 PM
Hey Eric. You seem to have CPWs ear. Throw this at them. How about a " youth licence donation box" Check it off. Get charged an extra $8.00. And have that $ go towards a licence for a kid that really cant afford one. I would check that box off for both myself and my wife. And I am certain that I am not alone.
Coyute, CO 1/25/2018 2:52:34 PM
I have never been a fan of free youth fishing licenses - or free senior licenses for that matter. $8 seems very reasonable on both accounts. Instead of teaching kids to expect a freebie, teaching kids that hunters and anglers are largely a responsible group of folks who willingly pay their own way is good policy for future generations. A willingness to forgo a significant loss of excise revenue if licenses are free to certain groups seems short sighted to me. I do like Smelly's idea however and would most likely participate - but only if I had the choice of whether I wanted to participate or not. And I say this with a tongue-in-my-cheek, any kid without the wherewithal to come up with 8 dollars isn't going to get much out of fishing anyways and probably won't be any good at it. Thanks for the info regardless. I appreciate it.
Eric Allee (TigerHunter), CO 1/25/2018 4:10:57 PM
Smelly: It was brought up a few times during last nights meeting. They did mention outreach licenses that could help for sure too. Coyute: I don't don't see it as short sighted but I can certainly understand why some do. 8 is reasonable and overall I'm happy with what shared with us last night.
panfishin, CO 1/29/2018 1:06:37 PM
great write-up Eric! Thanks for keeping the masses informed and up to date on these matters