Birdseed tax to help wildlife habitat?
A recent article in Sherwood Gazette in Oregon discusses House Bill 3303, recently withdrawn but still considered a viable option by Rep. Chris Garrett and Scott Lukens, owner of multiple Backyard Bird Shops and former board member of Audubon Society of Portland.
More than 50 percent of Lukens’ sales come from birdseed, and he figures the tax would raise $150,000 from those sales alone.What do you think? Would you pay more to feed the birds on your property if it meant that the birds also could find hospitable habitat away from your property?
Lukens realizes that without birds he wouldn’t have a business. “Birds don’t just stay in my back yard. They move around. We need to think about their habitat. We need to think about our children and their children,” he says.
The article raises the habitat contributions by hunters and fishermen.
Money derived from hunting and fishing licenses provides the bulk of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s budget. Yet 88 percent of the species the agency is charged with protecting are non-game critters.Many birders think likewise. What do you think?
“Less than 2 percent of the ODFW budget goes to those species,” Sallinger says. “Hunters and anglers have said for years they were contributing more than their fair share of the budget and they have a point.”
Sallinger began to wonder why birders weren’t “putting their money where their binoculars were,” especially at a time when bird populations are declining.