Alabama Forever Wild update #1:
Up front and personal – though a visual line has not been drawn on paper connecting Alabama’s Forever Wild and Agenda 21, one must know they both were presented to Alabama citizens in 1992 and both have the same objective: human free tracts and corridors of land for wildlife uninterrupted movement and breeding.
Finally, our web site at http://www.notforeverwild.org/ is live and available to help every Alabama voter to see the other side of spending another $300 million on more land. Collectively, Forever Wild and the State of Alabama already own 1.2 million acres. That is not enough because Forever Wild wants 1 million acres that can be hunted; not all of the 1.2 million can be hunted; “socialized hunting.” Which begs the question “How many more is needed to get to that 1 million target?” I was told by Forever Wild that answer is a personal one. Well my “personal one” is I would rather provide funding to rural VFD, EMT departments, vocational school systems, seniors, and to keep our students from quitting school and becoming a drag on the local economy than purchasing more land for hunting.
There are many mom-and-pop hunting leases available on Alabama Forest Owners Association’s facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AlabamaForestOwnersAssociation so why the need of socialized hunting?
The proponents of using another $15 million capped per year for another 20 years are charging forward with determination and survival. The “short-term active” PAC has already raised nearly $200,000 and that is only since November 2011. No surprise to see the Nature Conservancy kicking in nearly $60,000 to further their agenda of human free land corridors and tracts. Alabama Power, the elephant in the room with Montgomery politics, Coastal Land Trust, and the Alabama Wildlife Federation have all kicked in $25,000 each to convince us the value of miss-use of OUR money in our current tough economy.
Surprising to see that only 8 donations were $200 or less, and one was from out of state. Big money is supporting this effort, not us guys who live and work here in Alabama.
Remember those proponents who want to continue to miss-use of OUR money will be quick to tell you that it is not tax revenue. They are correct. However, every nickel and dime is OUR money generated from the many gas and oil leases in the Gulf and believe it or not, on leased Forever Wild land. Leasing land for 94 years, permitting the owners to retain the mineral rights and to drill, only to have the lease lapse in 94 years (maybe the life expectancy of the wells?) for hunting and outdoor rights? Nothing permanent, or better yet “Forever” here. And who benefits by this arrangement with the use of OUR money? Certainly not the vast majority of the citizens of Alabama.
You will also hear that Forever Wild property generates sales tax revenue, which has two points needing clarification. First of all, the majority of sales tax by-passes local governments going directly to the state coffer. Secondly, if the amount of generated revenue is equal to what they would like us to believe, then why ask the Legislature to pass a “self sustaining” bill where their generated revenue goes directly back into their coffers and leave our Alabama Trust Fund, OUR savings account, alone? Maybe, just maybe, we are not getting all of the truth.
Therefore, as we continue to proclaim, along with some Legislators able to see through the smoke, county residents in heavily public held counties must pay disproportionate taxes for the county wide services, such as police, fire, and government. It is simple math:
required gov’t revenue/number of property owners = individual taxes. The fewer property owners the greater individual tax base.
Oh yea, and the expenditures from the Alabamians for Forever Wild PAC continue to be solely for consulting and polling to the tune of 83% of $115,704 expenditures for telephone calling and all sorts of media ads. My county has no less than 3 huge billboards on the interstate. One has already been changed out – nice to have so much money to waste on changing billboards after only a few months. These puppies are not cheap.
Of those 8 $200 or less donations, 4 came in June within days of each other. This suggests the telephone bank calling is not very successful at the grass roots level when during that same month they pulled in nearly $42,000 from 4 donations.
It is obvious to me, people are really suffering from the state’s economic woes and are keeping their limited money in their wallets and purses, and maybe under their mattresses; that should best be discussed by some financial person. All of us tightening our personal belts see little value in approving another $300 million from OUR savings account when we are all hurting financially and not sure of our immediate economic future.
This is OUR fight for “fiscal sanity” in Alabama.
If you belong to an association who supports our efforts I welcome their input and assistance. Or better yet, if we are both fighting this fight, lets tag team ‘em.