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Old 08-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
Balsamea
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Question NY DEC Habitat/Access Stamps and Trails Supporter Patches

Do you buy these? How often? Which one? Both?

Do you trust that the funds will be used as intended, reasonably efficiently? Do you / would you recommend their purchase to family and friends? As gifts?

If you had not known about them before, do you think you'll buy them now?

Is it something you'd commit to doing every year?

Trails Supporter Patch

Habitat/Access Stamp
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention: they are $5 each.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
CrisisBill
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I have purchased in the past but these days I don't have faith in the state to assign the funds where they were intended. The state has looted funds like these for other purposes.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
Balsamea
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Quote:
I don't have faith in the state to assign the funds where they were intended. The state has looted funds like these for other purposes.
Hi CB. That's the kind of thing I'm wondering about.

As I understand it, one bit of good news is that under current law they can't raid the Conservation Fund for uses outside of conservation (as they have done with Thruway Authority funds). There was an attempt to allow it recently, but it was stopped because it would have cost us $18million in federal conservation funds because they won't give them to state funds that are allowed to be raided.

However, I don't know about fund juggling within Conservation. I DO know from direct experience in my former job that state agencies definitely juggle money from one budget category ("object" code) to another. They'll get, say, $10K for a new phone system, then use it for computers or furniture. I dunno ... maybe that has been stopped since I was in the system. I doubt it.

I HOPE that when it's an earmarked thing like this ... patches and stamps sold for specific purposes ... that they disallow other uses of that money.

Alas, as with so many other things, the thing to do is research it and report back here. If there's someone in the know about it, I'd love to hear from them. Meanwhile, I guess an email to somebody in govt should lead to an answer.

Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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Arrow Good news

Considering the info below, I believe that the revenues from Habitat/Access Stamps and Trails Supporter Patches go where they are supposed to go.

A friend asked DEC about this and got this reply from Doug Stang, Asst. Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources:

---------------------------------
The use of these funds are governed by state law, specifically The State Finance Law. In accordance with Article 6 (Funds of the State), Section 83 (Conservation Fund) of The State Finance Law:

with regard to the Habitat / Access funds (habitat account):

2. (h) All moneys, revenues and interest thereon received as a result of the application of subdivision seventeen of section 11-0305 of the environmental conservation law authorizing the issuance and sale of voluntary habitat stamps, other than the amount retained by the issuing agent or officer, shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the habitat account. All of such moneys, revenues and interest shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, pursuant to appropriation, exclusively for fish and wildlife habitat management, protection and restoration, and the improvement and development of public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and study.

and with regard to Trail Pins and Patches (Outdoor Recreation and Trail Maintenance Account):

2 (j) All moneys, revenue and interest thereon received as a result of the issuance and sale of voluntary outdoor recreation and trail maintenance pins and patches pursuant to section 11-0329 of the environmental conservation law, other than the amount retained by the issuing agent or officer, shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the outdoor recreation and trail maintenance account. All of such moneys, revenues and interest shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, pursuant to appropriation, exclusively for outdoor recreation, trail maintenance, and the development and improvement of public access to outdoor recreation and trails.

These funds are placed into their respective accounts within the Conservation Fund and are used for their intended purposes. To use these funds otherwise is a violation of New York State Law. I know of no instance where funds were diverted form these accounts and spent for other than legislatively described purposes.

For the most recently completed state fiscal year (April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013), a total of $16,733 in revenues (including interest) were collected from sale of habitat / access stamps and deposited into the habitat account. $12,323.33 was used on two projects (disabled fishing access site on Saquoit Creek and Angler Parking Area on Silver Lake). At year's end, there was a balance of $294,148 in the habitat account.

For the most recently completed state fiscal year (April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013) a total of $643 in revenues (including interest) was collected and deposited into the outdoor recreation and trail maintenance account and no funds were spent. At year's end there was a balance of $8,649 in the outdoor recreation and trail maintenance account.
---------------------------------------

.... submitted here with thanks to Mr. Stang at DEC.
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