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Old 11-19-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,816
I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea but there's a few potential complications that I think any proposal along these lines should seek to address:

1. If the DEC's budget is in part tied directly to revenues from extraction of natural resources, what protections would be put in place to ensure that the temptation to increase resource extraction purely for short-term budgetary gains are avoided? Is it even appropriate for a government agency who's main mission is resource protection to have a budget that is in part tied to profits from resource extraction, no matter how sustainable said extraction may be? (Is there any potential for a "slippery slope" in which NY State feels compelled to further increase the DEC's budget through the sale of other natural resources- i.e., natural gas?)

2. The significant majority of these revenues are generated outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, as Forest Preserve protections prohibit harvesting of timber on most (but not all) state owned lands within those parks. State Forest lands (apart from the Forest Preserve) on which timber harvest does occur are themselves not without significant issues concerning adequate funding for the protection of those lands, and it's easy (and I think obvious) to suggest that at least some of these revenues should at least remain within the DEC regions in which they are generated- and that to divert all of these revenues to the Forest Preserve would be inappropriate. Where do you draw that line, though? I'm sure there's a reasonable balance somewhere in the middle- but figuring out exactly what that balance is isn't going to be easy. (I would also question whether just how much the Forest Preserve actually gets after you make that distinction would amount to anything more than a drop in the bucket.)

FWIW, this isn't without precedent- the PA Game Commission in part is self-funded through sales of standing timber.
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