I did a little research on this bill and this is what I came up with.
On July 13 the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona's cap of 10% nonresident permits is unconstitutional(Montoya vs.Shrouf).
Senate Bill 2978 would restore the states right to limit the number of nonresident permits. As it currently stands the court's ruling makes it manditory to issue permits 50/50 residents and nonresident.
As I see it, subject to more information about the bill, the only way Arizona will have to limit the number of non residents will be to raise all nonresident fees so high that only a few will be able to afford the permits. SB2978 would restore the states right to limit the nonresidents, without raising the price. Of course the guides and outfitters oppose it, the more nonresidents they can bring in, the better it is for them. They can then spend more money to tie up more of the private land for hunting. I have lost access to two private ranches I used to hunt in Wyoming, because the outfitters leased the hunting rights on both ranches.
George, I think you have this one wrong. The bill is not to raise the price on permits, but to keep the state in control of their own resources and the permit system to harvest those resources. While I don't like the nonresident limit on the number of licenses, I think that the court's ruling will drive the price beyond what you or I can afford. Do you think that the residents of a state won't pressure their state legislators to make the permits available to them and not nonresidents? The ONLY way that'll be left to them is to raise the nonresident license fee.
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The ancestral concept of domain over wildlife resources is as old as Western Civilization. From the time of feudal lands to the writing of the U.S. Constitution, man's boundries have dictated use of wildlife and natural resources.
Many of Arizona's forests are public lands, and on those BLM areas, it would seem that the right would be not limited to residents of the state, but to all citizens, equally. Now assessment fees and replacement fees are the privilege of State Legislators, and not the Federal Government, but that old magic word, "Reciprocity", once agin will rear it's ugly head.
If Arizona were to demand exhorbitant fees for non-resident licenses, I could see where states like Kentucky, with a growing herd of prime elk, could well do the same, or charge Arizona residents a comparable fee to chase magnum whitetails in the Bluegrass.
Of course there is always concern by residents when resources are limited, and non-resident hunters may out-number resident, but it would seem to me the rent-and-pay-as-you-go system that works in Texas would not apply to a state where the bulk of huntable real estate is in the BLM domain. Most of Texan real estate is in private ownership, and the charge and collect system of hunting, while not reflected in non-resident fees, certainly has upped the ante at the fence gates here in the Lonestar.
Regardless of the outcome, I still believe the Federal Government has no business interfering with what has long been a State's rights issue. EXCEPT where BLM lands are concerned. Perhaps Arizona ranchers would like to have their grazing fees upped in order to make up the difference between current non-resident fees and any future increases......After all, their livestock is eating OUR forage grasses, competing with OUR native wildlife and costing US million$ in Federal predator control programs. Further the assessment and inventories taken on Federal lands are funded by good old Joe citizen too, so, in a sense, those game species have been bought and paid for by the U.S. Taxpayer.......EVEN P.E.T.A. members.
I agree with Cur. BLM land is the property of every US citizen and we should be able to hunt it just like everyone else, affordably. The problem with the Reciprocating gig is I am from Louisiana and now that DU has Fouled up our duck hunting, nobody is going to come here to hunt anything. But the citizens of any state or their legislators should be in control of their State Forest. But the BLM lands are ours to.
Many of you WRONGLY ASSUMED that the posting I made a day or two ago was verbiage of my own. I apologize if you mistook that as my words. Those words came direct off of a joint communique from Safari Club International, Conservation Force, and United States Outfitters.
I don't accept that I was either wrong or right as it was simply a cut and paste stating opinions from those three organizations.
I didn't wrongly assume anything. Your post was concise and elegant, regardless of origin. The first damn rule of curdom is to NEVER apologise, unless you $$$t in the host's tuba.