I read with frustration the article discussing various funding/taxing methodologies to resolve the increasing fiscal pressure faced by both the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission ("Pa. Looking for More Ways to Pay for Wildlife Services," Jan. 17).
Here is a landmark idea for the bureaucrats: Run it like a business! When a real business finds revenue being outpaced by rising costs of goods, it looks for innovative ways to increase revenue and/or control costs. Not our government! It just finds new ways to stick it to its loyal and dwindling customer base.
A few ideas for these commissions:
First, increase revenue through increased participation, not through increased license fees but by cutting license fees to open the sport to more people. Creating tags for every species season (deer, bear and trout) and every waterway (Lake Erie stamp) only alienates the everyday and recreational consumer.
Second, increase revenue through regionalization. As just one example: Take advantage of the large number of sportsmen within the Tri-State region. Open up your licenses across states with Ohio and West Virginia through a "super state license." Progressively work with Ohio and West Virginia to allow hunters and fishermen to hunt and fish across state lines and waterways instead of penalizing them with sky-high duplicate tag rates, limited days of use or some imaginary state line in the case of Lake Erie.
Do all of this and watch the new tourism dollars that develop by having a state that is not only beautiful but also easy to do business with on all levels.
Finally, control costs by consolidating operations, implementing strategic goals and eliminating overlapping cost structures and maybe even overlapping commissions!
I am an Ohio resident and sportsman who learned to hunt and fish growing up in Western Pennsylvania.
The writer is formerly of Reserve.