In New York State’s population of twenty million people, 530,000 hold resident hunting licenses, and 15,000 hold trapping licenses. In percentages, a mere 2.65% of NY’s residents hunt and .075% trap.

In 2013, a report was released of a 2012 audit of the Conservation Fund – Sources and Uses of Funds, but unfortunately, the numbers melded fishing and hunting revenue and expenses. Nevertheless, our readers will see the staggering amount of NYS’s General Fund dollars that are given to the Conservation Fund. One has to wonder if hard-working New Yorkers are aware that millions are taken from the State’s General Fund, millions that would otherwise pay for the needs of all New Yorkers, just so hunting, trapping and fishing can continue as a “sport.”

This staggering amount of money that is taken to support a controversial recreational activity that involves killing wildlife that belongs to all the people of the state by law, and involves the promotion of firearms and ammunition, should be challenged.

The staggering amount of money that goes to the Conservation Fund is used for operating fish hatcheries (for fishing), pheasant farms (for hunting), issuing hunting licenses, and managing wildlife into overpopulations for hunters to kill.

While the game agencies tell the public that hunting is needed to reduce wildlife populations for their impact on landscaping, orchards, farms, etc., they never say that they themselves are the cause of higher populations of game species.

In a Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2013-2014 Executive Budget, , there was testimony by Jason Kemper, Chairman of the NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board on the Balance in the Conservation Fund.

He said, “The Conservation Fund is unlike any other special revenue fund in the State. The purpose of the Conservation Fund is the care, management, protection and enlargement of the fish, game, and shell fish resources of the state and for the promotion of public fishing and shooting. It is funded by the sales of hunting, trapping and fishing licenses.” [He had the audacity to report that “the hunting, fishing and trapping community in NYS is the only interest group that funds the management of the resources that are important to them.”] Obviously, the fact that General Funds almost double the funding of this nightmare, is not acknowledged.

Just how long would we tolerate a division of government that promoted drinking and derived some of its income from the sale of alcohol? Or a division that promoted smoking and derived some of its income from the sale of tobacco? C.A.S.H. contends that the Bureau of Wildlife is illegitimate as a true government bureau and should no longer be housed within the government where it continues to siphon millions from the General Fund.

It appears that these guys even steal from themselves:

In 2012, a report was put out by the NYS Comptroller’s Office that stated that the Bureau decided to issue lifetime hunting permits to compensate for the loss of revenue from annual hunting permits. However, the money from lifetime permits was to be held in a Trust Fund and invested only. It appears that when operating money is needed for current projects, the revenue generated by the Trust Fund is transferred to the Main Fund. The 2013 report states that more “transfers” were anticipated.

Wildlife Watch contacted Ken Schulman, the NYS Assistant Comptroller who was not part of the audit in 2012. We asked for confirmation that 110,319,316 was transferred from the General Fund to the Conservation Fund. He confirmed that amount. We asked if in future audits they would provide a breakdown of the General Funds to make the Bureau of Wildlife’s portion more transparent. He responded, “audits are very political.”

However, we noted that in 2018 the Final Apportionment of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Funds (the excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, & bows and arrows) for NYS was close to 21 million. The Dingell-Johnson apportionment (excise taxes on fishing equipment) for fishing in NYS was less than 8 million. If the General Fund is based on federal apportionments, it would indicate that the General Fund’s contribution goes largely to support hunting.

We believe that a fresh audit is in order, with full transparency and justification for transfers from the General Fund to the individual bureaus, specifically the Bureau of Wildlife (BOW).

Although we had always assumed that general fund monies were helping to keep this private firearms scheme active, we had never seen evidence of it until now. Visit:
Anne Muller, Editor, C.A.S.H. Courier


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561