Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Plan aims to draw fishermen and hunters to New York

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Plan aims to draw fishermen and hunters to New York
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Hunters and fishermen looking to enjoy the best of New York's forests and waterways come by the thousands every year. Governor Cuomo announced a plan aimed at making it easier to allow people who live in and outside the state to do just that. YNN's Sarah Blazonis takes us through the "New York Open for Fishing and Hunting" proposal.

PULASKI, N.Y. -- Fishermen and women flock to Pulaski for the village's annual salmon run every fall, and it's not just the riverbanks that get busy.

"We have eight or nine people here full time, open 24 hours two days during the week, and it's just non-stop," said Mike Ariola, a salesman at Fat Nancy's Tackle Shop.

A 2011 national survey showed about 1.88 million anglers and 823,000 hunters are licensed in the state, among the top in the country.

Governor Cuomo's "New York Open for Fishing and Hunting" plan aims to bring in even more.

The plan reduces the types of licenses available to streamline the process. It also decreases fees.

Workers at Fat Nancy's say they think their computerized license system is already pretty simple. One concern: what reducing fees could mean.

"For me personally, to see a decrease in license fee is kind of scary, because I do know that a portion of license fees goes to keeping our hatchery system, and it goes into our whole fishing system," said Ariola.

The proposal would maintain funding for the Conservation Fund through fiscal year 2018-2019. It helps projects that enhance hunting and fishing access and improve wildlife habitat.

The hope is it will also bolster the $8.1 billion sporting activity brings into the state that's so important to some communities.

"There's so many businesses, including us, that survive off of those four weeks. Luckily, here we have other things that keep us going, like the Steel Head Run, but the major thing is the salmon industry," said Ariola of fishing's impact on Pulaski.

And any boost to that is always appreciated.

The proposal is part of the 30 day amendments to this year's Executive Budget. The deadline for lawmakers to pass the spending plan is April 1st.

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