New Hampshire Fish and Game Budget
In his inaugural address on January 4, Governor Lynch laid out his plans for the state for the next two years. He spoke briefly about clean air, clean water, protecting state parks and recommitting ourselves to the LCHIP - but no mention of the value of fish, wildlife and habitat resources or the need to conserve those resources.
Fish and Game has requested that Governor Lynch include $1.6 million in State General Funds for its budget in each of the next two fiscal years -- a stopgap measure to balance the agency's budget without dramatic cuts in staff and services. (Fish and Game is self-funded, and it would be the first time we would receive more than a token amount of money from the state.) If the Governor's budget doesn't include the stopgap money, Fish and Game's future is in serious jeopardy, with the potential for devastating cuts to services and programs that make a difference in your life.
Who should care about this? We all should. What if Fish and Game biologists were not monitoring for an outbreak of Avian Flu? What if we no longer had lands open to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation? What if your child wandered into the woods and no one was there to coordinate a search? What if loons or bald eagles vanished from the state forever? What if unregulated deer populations overran our suburbs, causing regular traffic fatalities and increased concerns about Lyme disease? What if Fish and Game were not there to protect habitat? What if no one took responsibility for teaching conservation to a new generation? What if livelihoods were lost for thousands of New Hampshire businessmen and women who count on the hundreds of millions of dollars brought into the state through wildlife-related activities?
This is a defining moment for New Hampshire's wildlife and wild places. If you care about wildlife, if you enjoy fishing or hunting, or watching birds or moose, if you understand how essential our wild resources are to New Hampshire's quality of life, then let the Governor know. He needs to hear that you support the Fish and Game Department, and that you want him to provide funding in his budget request to the Legislature.
To contact Governor Lynch, go to www.nh.gov/governor and click on "contact the governor"; or write to: Governor John Lynch, State House, 25 Capitol Street, Concord, NH 03301; call (603) 271-2121; or fax (603) 271-7680.