Proposed Conservation Bonus Point is Shelved

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After months of often-tumultuous public input, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to discontinue the rule making process to create a conservation bonus point during its June 25 meeting in Payson, Ariz.

The idea was to provide a bonus point to those who volunteer for wildlife-related projects. As conceived, an individual would have had to complete 48 hours of volunteer activity on a project or projects authorized by the department as being eligible for a conservation bonus point.

Various commissioners agreed that the general idea had merit: rewarding volunteers. The problem was getting consensus from the various publics on the details. Some of the groups, which initially voiced support for the general concept, ended up opposing the proposed commission rule.

One of the many stumbling blocks was a stipulation the department is required to make that would have allowed all individuals, regardless of membership, to participate in any department sanctioned conservation project.

Groups were concerned that there would be so much demand from the general hunting public that their group's own members would no longer be able to fully participate in their group's own conservation projects.