As to your article on Page 1 of Jan. 15, citing pending legislation in the House proposed by Representative McCullough, I feel a response is required.
In reference to funding of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, this proposal is way off base. While the majority of funding is provided by people hunting and fishing, as well as a federal tax on the equipment they use, there is no provision to tax other casual users of our wildlife.
I propose that if you drive in to a state fishing access (funded by fishing license revenue), you will be charged a fee if you do not possess a valid license. If you use hiking trails to view wildlife and do not possess a valid license, pay a fee. If you own a second home here to come enjoy our wildlife, pay up through higher taxes.
Thousands of Vermont residents (including me) continue to buy licenses to support our Fish & Wildlife and the department's mission, while never again picking up a weapon or fish pole due to physical restraints. We, as do 90% of other license holders, do not harvest game in anywhere near the quantity in comparison to our expenditure.
Representative McCullough, if you are so worried about Fish & Wildlife revenue, tax those who use but as yet do not pay.
Norman J. Coote