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Thread: A Different View of SAR

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    "The responsibility for land search and rescue operations rests with the “local chief law enforcement officer” (usually the County Sheriff)," as opposed to state fish and game. What WA has that NH doesn't is sales tax. Counties are able to levy additional voter-approved sales tax on top of the state sales tax. "Public Safety Sales Tax" is something some counties use. So, I guess what WA has that NH doesn't is folks willing to pay taxes to adequately fund services?
    My current understanding is that Search & Rescue in New Hampshire is currently a State function administered by the NH F&G and that the NH F&G dept is chronically underfunded given that mandate, yes?

    Given that, it is easy for us to think up new, or existing, State taxes that could be diverted to the NH F&G to cover the annual budgetary shortfall.

    However, those suggestions ignore that fact there isn't a consensus that S&R should be a government service. I have read many posts on this board stating each rescue should be paid by the person being rescued.

    Some posts on this board seem to advocate that the NH State government provide that S&R service without fees or penalties for only NH State residents only; or for only those who are not reckless; or for only those who are not negligent; or for those who pay NH F&G fees only. Or some combination of all of that above....

    Some posts on this board seem to want the S&R service to be funded at a local level like police and fire services. Or at the State level. Or the federal level.

  2. #17
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    I have a hard time figuring out what your point is but will comment on the F&G funding aspect and note about the VT approach.

    In a recent radio interview the NH Fish and Game Executive Director broke with tradition and stated the S&R costs are a high profile issue but not the major financial issue facing the department right now. This is pretty rare as the "script" has always been that hiker S&R is convenient talking point with the legislature.http://www.nhpr.org/post/funding-hun...g-nh-fish-game. Its worth listening to the show as he lays out the sources of funding and also explains some misconceptions. One point he made is that the OHRV fees are a pass through his budget, they administer the registrations but the Bureau of Trails gets the lions share of it.

    You may or may not be aware that the NH legislature is composed of mostly older retirees and with a few rare exceptions like Jeb Bradley tend not to be hikers. The goal of the legislature is to pass the buck to maintain the sacred "no broad based taxes" pledge which is a "third wire" of NH politics. Generally the budget hearings are intentionally set up for some drama as the members of the budget committee are always looking for a way to get publicity and to point the fingers on "someone else" preferably out of state for what really is a long term functional under funding. I got the impression on the radio show that even the Director is aware that F&G is "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic".

    Note Vermont until recently assigned S&R to the state police who will ill suited to deal with S&R and there were a couple of high profile incidences that forced them to change it. There have been several events in the past where 911 was called and the state troopers had a tough time responding as they could not understand that the victim was out in the woods. I talked to one thru hiker who reported a body at an AT campsite and it took hours for someone to respond and he had to be the one to tell the troopers how to reach the campsite as they were not even aware that the campsite existed. Their S&Rs tend to be far more tied to Ski resorts and the ski resorts tend to maintain staffing and experience to support rescues as it would be bad PR and they have far better control over the PR that gets generated. They post big signs that skiers crossing the resort boundary will be charged for rescue but I am not familiar if it actually happens. I expect if they had high mountain rescue much of the resources would come from NY or NH. I believe there was an attempt at coordinating rescues with volunteer groups more closely but havent followed the details.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have a hard time figuring out what your point is but will comment on the F&G funding aspect and note about the VT approach.
    Hahahha, sorry.

    When we start the discussion at "how to fund S&R with NH tax revenues" we are assuming that S&R should be a government function that should be funded at the State level.

    Many people don't agree with either of those premises.

  4. #19
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Hahahha, sorry.

    When we start the discussion at "how to fund S&R with NH tax revenues" we are assuming that S&R should be a government function that should be funded at the State level.

    Many people don't agree with either of those premises.
    We are also assuming that their should be S&R at all.

    Of course, saying 'many people do X' isn't super meaningful. The only reasonable interpretation is that their isn't 100% consensus on the issue, which makes it like every other issue. This isn't to dismiss those who don't agree, but rather to raise the question: if there should be S&R, and it shouldn't be run by the state, who should run it and how will it be funded?
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  5. #20
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Hahahha, sorry.

    When we start the discussion at "how to fund S&R with NH tax revenues" we are assuming that S&R should be a government function that should be funded at the State level.

    Many people don't agree with either of those premises.
    Right. If you advocate for a small government that you can drown in a bath tub, let them rescue themselves or pay the price.
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