In my opinion, New York’s many open spaces, trails, wooded areas, streams and lakes make our state a sportman’s dream. The state is perfectly designed to accommodate and encourage the many outdoor recreation options available to each of us – from hunting and fishing to snowmobiling and ATVing. New York can and should be an unrivaled destination for these activities, bringing dollars and tourism into our state.
Most New Yorkers certainly agree. Our state is home to more than 1.4 million sportsmen who easily invest over $6 billion in the state’s economy every year. The sheer impact of outdoor enthusiasts’ contributions to our state should command more respect by those in the state legislature; yet, Albany belittles the rights and traditions that many of us hold so dear.
Albany bureaucrats seem to have a fondness for over-regulating any and every economic industry in the state, especially outdoor recreation. Annually, there is an assault on the traditions of outdoor sports and the firearms industry by people who have no understanding of the importance of these businesses on the upstate economy and our way of life.
We in upstate New York know how important outdoor sports have been to our families – either as a source of income or as a way to connect with our children and grandchildren. Some of you may work at Remington Arms or own a small business that outfits hunters and anglers, or you may be a dealer of recreational vehicles. It’s part of our way of life upstate.
New York City politicians make no qualms about attacking our way of life. Recently, I voted against their annual effort to curtail every New Yorker’s Second Amendment right by trying to force an untested, unproven, expensive technology that will cost our state countless jobs. They call it micro-stamping; I call it endangering your rights.
To combat this shortsightedness, I work closely with our Minority Sportsmen Caucus in the Assembly. We hold an annual legislative awareness day in Albany, where individuals and organizations that support and promote outdoor sports come to speak with legislators on the matters that are most important to them.
Together, with your strong voice supporting the legislators who are fighting for you, we can effect a change in attitude in Albany that embraces outdoor recreation. We can work toward improving access for our youth, disabled veterans and seniors, while promoting and improving safety education. We can ensure our license fees are used as intended to promote outdoor sports and conserve open space. When New York government is more open and responsive to our sportsmen, don’t be surprised if you see an increase in the economic impact of outdoor recreation and the number of New Yorkers who participate in these traditional activities.
If you have any additional questions or ideas about the impact of outdoor recreation on New York’s economy or any other state matter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my Herkimer office at (315) 866-1632 or my Johnstown office at (518) 762-6486.