Resident/Non Resident Permit Fight


Published: March - 2005

The resident/nonresident permit fight we've been telling you about out West has become red-hot again with the re-introduction of bills into the House and Senate that would give Western states complete freedom to discriminate against nonresidents. The bills would allow states to completely eliminate nonresident hunting if they wish, even on public land and for federally administered migratory waterfowl. Moreover, the bills specifically empower the states to charge any fee they like for nonresident permits. You can read a copy of the bill yourself by going to our web site, www.huntingreport .com. See Other Hunting News.

The bill in question is called SB 339 in the Senate and H.R. 731 in the House. The Senate bill was introduced by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who is the ranking Democrat in the Senate. It was co-sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (MT), Benjamin E. Nelson (NE), John Ensign (NV) and Ted Stevens (AK). The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House resolution was introduced by Representative Mark Udall of Colorado and was co-sponsored by (Butch) Otter of Idaho. It has been referred to the House Committee on Resources.

The fight over nonresident hunting rights is a tricky one for us here at The Hunting Report, as it is for any national organization, because Western sportsmen feel strongly they should have the right to set their own policies as regards the taking of fish and game within their state borders. Indeed, the issue is being touted in Washington as a states-rights issue, which it is in a way. Unfortunately, it is more than that, too, because the resource at issue occurs largely on public land paid for and maintained by all Americans.

I would not be doing my job if I did not point out that these bills, in their current form, pose some grave risks for the hunting community. At present, almost no one is paying attention to these bills either. But they will when nonresident permit numbers plummet in coming years and costs rise dramatically, pushing all but the wealthy out of the........(continued)

 
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