Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R, C, I – Schoharie) is pleased to announce that the Reynolds Game Farm and Pheasant Restocking programs will be spared from previously proposed cuts by Governor Paterson. Lopez worked together with local residents and sportsmen’s groups to lobby the Governor and State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner, Alexander (Pete) Grannis, to find an alternative to cutting the programs.
“This is great news for the people of the 127th Assembly District. Keeping this program intact is vital to our outdoor enthusiasts who are a major part of the tourism and recreational economy in New York State,” stated Assemblyman Lopez, who also personally met with Commissioner Grannis regarding the proposed budget cuts.
New York State’s hunting industry contributes an average of $700 million to the state economy annually. The farm, located outside of Ithaca, propagates pheasants for the hunting season and operates on a $750,000 annual budget, which is funded largely by hunting and fishing licenses revenue.
Currently, the state pheasant hunting license costs $16. Hunting groups, including the National Rifle Association, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation, discussed a number of options, including increasing the license fee over closing the farm. In fact, these organizations were prepared to seek a temporary injunction in court to save the pheasant farm from closure.
Assemblyman Lopez said, “We must all work to make sure government listens to the people. I’m pleased to have helped the administration work in partnership with our sportsmen who contribute so much to the upstate economy.”