This is what will be my proposed Amendment to protect your Sporting revenues.
To my fellow Iowa Sportsmen, Deer Hunters, Turkey Hunters, Waterfowl Hunters, Pheasant Hunters, Small Game Hunters and Iowa Trappers. I write to you Today to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Legislative proposal SF 125. This legislative Bill seeks to increase certain fees as it pertains to us Sportsmen. It is a Bill that did NOT get assigned to committee last year. Just so you know. However as a sportsmen I have had plenty of time to review it and Will be making a Legislative Amendment proposal to said SF 125. As you read the original Bill there is No Specific outline as to how those fee increases are to be utilized. I understand that some may view them as supporting the category to which the fee increase may be associated with. For me as a Sportsmen of Iowa that does Not sit well with me at all and nor does it GUARANTEE any portion of those fees will be directed to supporting Habitat Restoration, Enhancement, Protection nor does it Guarantee that any portion of those fees will be directed to New Acquisitions that increase our ability of greater opportunity across the board. As a sportsmen when it comes to any kind of Fee increase potential I want to make damn sure that some of those revenues are doing exactly what we as sportsmen want them to and that is , being applied to the landscape in such a way that it provides more habitat for the Wild Game WE HUNT, WE TRAP, WE FISH FOR so that our revenues provide US with Greater Opportunity and better Quality of said opportunities. As many of you know the cost of simply doing business goes up with time and that is understandable, but as a Iowa Sportsmen I want to make damn sure that any increase simply doesn't go to support the administrative side of Wildlife Management Operations solely and WE as Sportsmen receive nothing in return that improves our Wild Game Populations or Our Hunting/Trapping/Fishing Opportunities.
So what I will be proposing as an Amendment to SF 125 in the Next Legislative ( 2015 ) Session is this ( $1.00 ) from each associated proposed fee increase be Directed to the IDNR Fish & Wildlife Trust Fund to Strictly Support the Iowa Sportsmen s River Habitat Restoration Fund. These Revenues can only be used to Restore, Enhance , Permanently Protect associated River & River Bottom Habitat that are a direct benefit to Iowa Sportsmen & Wild Game. These associated Revenues should also be used in associated federal or state grant match opportunities so that said Iowa Sportsmen revenues can be maximized to the fullest extent possible or of the like to compound Sportsmen s revenues. To date as Iowa Sportsmen WE DO NOT HAVE any direct source of revenue that is specifically designed for the sole purpose of Restoring, Enhancing, Protecting or Acquiring River & River Bottom Habitat.
I am very specific in the allocation of these revenues and I am very specific in it's Protection so that said Revenues can NOT be used, directed or allocated to other IDNR programs or budget shortfalls. This Guarantees Iowa Sportsmen that said annual revenues generated under this specific program are going to Support said Habitat Restoration, Enhancement, protection and acquisitions along our Iowa River systems ( EVERY YEAR ) regardless of what Executive decisions are made to cut other funding sources that help or assist us as sportsmen improve our habitat or wild game populations.
As a sportsmen who has worked on other Habitat Conservation legislation with the exact same protections, I can tell you that if it was Not for the specific allocations outlined in the Habitat Stamp Bill that I wrote and WE passed some 6 to 7 years ago, the past 3 years Iowa Sportsmen would have seen nothing being put on the ground to improve or advance our Sporting recreational Opportunities. To this date it remains the only source we have right now that is able to accomplish anything on the ground that is providing more opportunity for Iowa sportsmen. What I am looking to do is accomplish the same objective as it relates to our Iowa Rivers & River Bottoms. Most if not All of us have seen with our own eyes the dilapidated state of these resources and the lack of Opportunity for Iowa Sportsmen. So in closing I ask that you as an Iowa sportsmen Review SF125 as it was written and demand that you SEE the above Amendment made to SF 125 so that WE as Iowa Sportsmen SEE our Dollars being applied to the land and water as they should be to benefit the Wild Game we chase and the Opportunities we Seek.
If you have any questions about the above, please feel free to send me an e mail at FHD101@AOL.COM or call me at 712-274-3343.
Again Guys & Gals I thank you and Look forward to the 2015 Legislative session to Protect your Investments as Iowa Sportsmen.
William J. Smith