Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Budget cuts could include hunting lands

I suppose they’re a grim and unfortunate sign of the times, but budget cuts can really stink.

Just ask Georgia’s widlife officials. The budget they’re submitting for the upcoming fiscal year calls for a cut of up to 15 percent in the amount of land the state Department of Natural Resources leases for public hunting.

If the cuts occur, hunters would lose access to about 25,000 acres.

The full story is here, in the Rome News-Tribune.

West Virginia has so far avoided the same fate, largely because our Division of Natural Resources officials had the vision to set up a steady, dedicated source of revenue to fund land leases and acqusitions. Each “Conservation Stamp,” which must be purchased with every hunting or fishing license, puts $3 into a DNR fund that pays for land acquisition and capital improvements.