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Are We Losing Our Wildlife Management Areas? (Page 3)

Many states in the East have few WMAs that approach proper habitat management after 75 years of Pittman-Robertson Act funding.

Somewhere between 1937 and 2013 there has been a shift in thinking among state wildlife agencies, which once kept the best interests of sportsmen and the resource in mind when making management decisions. Experienced, older biologists retire and often are replaced by folks who have never hunted or who are unaware of the long history of hunting in their state. In too many cases, biologist positions are left unfilled, often for many years. In too many cases the voices of hunters are unheard at meetings and hearings where decisions affecting them are made by others with no hunting background. Hunters who sit back and do nothing must take part of the blame for our neglected WMAs, but changes can be made, P-R can be amended. We may never see our wildlife management areas at maximum habitat diversity, but we can certainly bring them closer than their present, unacceptable 80:20 forest/edge-cover mix.

To accomplish this sportsmen must demand that our land managers spend our money properly, giving us the maximum return on our Pittman-Robertson contributions. How will the states get funding for those other, non-habitat uses? That is another challenge, but one that must be met if P-R is going to have its intended impact.

There are thousands of neglected hunter-funded acres in every state that desperately need our immediate attention. One thing is certain: Nibbling away at our WMAs at the present pace will never get the job done. 

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2 Responses to Are We Losing Our Wildlife Management Areas? (Page 3)

Howard Sleeper wrote:
June 30, 2013

Well researched , point well made, and as I've come expect from Mr. Carpenteri's work, well written.

Robbo Holleran wrote:
March 29, 2013

You guys have nailed this topic correctly. Our WMA's are overgrown, and the excuse of 'lack of manpower and funds' does not pass the laugh test. As you point out, they have flushed millions down the toilet on administration, etc, while the young habitat is lost. The dirty little secret is that those projects are mostly done at a profit - the state sells the trees to loggers and sawmills, and some state agencies (Vermont F&W, for example) gets to keep the money. Plus the P-R Money. Plus the license fees. Plus the General fund dollars. Throwing more money at these guys would be a waste.