Posts Tagged bison

Rep. Noel proposes hunting deer and bighorn sheep on Antelope Island

As a means of generating new revenue, Rep. Mike Noel has announced he will propose hunting permits for deer and bighorn sheep on Antelope Island State Park. The announcement came during a budget hearing of the Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, This was the same meeting at which Senator Buttars made a controversial proposal to privatize state parks (h/t Glen Warchol, Salt Lake Crawler).

Earlier in the hearing, Noel commented on the losses experienced by state parks and wondered “are we ever going to make money on parks?”

Noel suggests that selling two tags each for deer and bighorn sheep will generate revenue of about $250 thousand for the state parks,

Well, the condition that we’re in right now with the funding and things, we could sure use the ongoing revenue of a coupla $150 thousand, may be even more, might even be as high as $500 thousand, some of these state-wide tags have sold for $200 thousand.

Utah Parks Superintendent Mary Tullius responded that in numerous public surveys, people have not supported hunting on the island except for biological reasons, such as overpopulation or disease. The bighorn herds were put out there as nursery herds. Recreational hunting was never an intent.

I just want to alert the committee as we make this tomorrow, I’m going to make a motion to do that, cause I think we could use the money and I don’t’ see any reason why we shouldn’t, we’ve already got bison being hunted out there

If we got two tags for deer and two for goats, we could bring in $300 thousand to 400 thousand a year, seems like a pretty good deal to me. And put at a time when there’s not a lot of people out there, a very controlled situation. Anyway, thank you very much, ‘preciate it.

I am not sure I understand how two tags can generate the kind of money Noel suggests. I checked Utah’s website for hunting Licenses, Permits and Fees. A license to hunt bison on Antelope Island goes for $1,105 for residents, and $1,513 for non-residents. I wasn’t able to determine how many licenses were granted in a year for this hunt.

I’ll admit I’m not a hunter, so maybe I don’t understand how many animals may be taken with one tag. Perhaps I’m not doing the math correctly, but I fail to see how offering two tags each of these animals on Antelope Island will produce even a small fraction of the amount stated by Noel.

Antelope Island is a unique and popular recreation area. Easily accessed from Antelope Drive in Davis County, It attracts large numbers of families, bicyclists, bird and animal enthusiasts, photographers, boaters, and just plain sight-seers. It’s hard to imagine, even if the revenue projections are correct, being able to conduct a hunt in a way that wouldn’t impact regular public use.

Audio of the hearing is available here: See the file for February 8, 2010, 2:00 pm.

Cross-posted at Davis County Democrats and Utah Legislature Watch

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