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Posted: 8/9/2001 9:51:47 PM EDT
I'm sure most of you remember the big scandal about 2 years ago involving misuse of this funding by the Clintonistas in the Fish and Wildlife service. What I didn't realize until the scandal brought it up was that in FY 2001, 293 million dollars of this tax money was to be returned to the states for wildlife conservation funding, hunter education programs and [i]development and operation of shooting ranges[/i]. Utah, where I live has a very active Hunter Safety program. But I have not heard squat about any of the money being used to develop new or operate current ranges. Utah has experienced rapid growth in the last 10 years. Most of the shooting ranges I know of and that are close to me have had some kind of problem recently involving noise complaints or environmental concerns about lead due to the ever increasing encroachment caused by population growth. They are still open but I'm sure their days are numbered and it's only a matter of time before the antis get them closed. I for one believe you can never have too many shooting ranges. The gun grabbers can and will make an issue about the negative environmental impact that ranges cause. As ranges are closed are they going to be replaced using this pot of money specifically set aside for these purposes? Or are they? What is the state of the ranges in your state? Are they increasing or decreasing? To find out what the hell is going on in Utah, I am going to write my local state representative or senator and ask how this Pittman-Robertson act money is being spent locally. I'm curious to see how much, if any is being spent on new range development. I'd also be curious to know the "politics" of the person or committee controlling the purse strings. I would hate to find out that most of the money was going to save the sucker backed humpfish. Basically, I'm going to try to find out what the hell is going on and try to get involved some way. My agenda is going to be to see if range development is even being considered and if it isn't to try and be as squeaky a wheel as I can be and try to get the required money that is supposed to be used for it used that way. I urge others to get involved in their states too. 293 million is a lot of coin. It's time we make sure that we, as shooters, get involved and see how this money is being spent locally. We might be surprised. For more info on the Act, here is a link you can visit: [url]http://fa.r9.fws.gov/wr/he_jul97.html[/url]
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