122nd District Assembly candidate Ken Blankenbush, Republican of Black River, has reinforced his support for outdoor sports and their potential to draw tourism dollars to the North Country on the eve of the election.
“Each year thousands of hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts travel to the North Country from all over the world,” said Blankenbush. “Our wildlife-abundant rivers, streams and forests draw a lot of tourism to the region, but increased licensing fees and excessive rules are making it costlier and more restrictive to partake in an activity that is often handed down from generation. I will be a strong advocate for sportsmen and strongly oppose the Assembly Democrats’ anti-gun legislative package and other policies that hurt upstate.”
Blankenbush said to improve access to outdoor sports, Albany’s attitude toward sportsmen needs to change. He says he wants to lower the cost of hunting and fishing licenses and fees. Due to the Conservation Fund sweeps started in the 90s, the fund has run on near annual $9 million deficit. In the 2009-10 over 40 license fee increases and newly created licenses were imposed on sportsmen, Bloankenbush says costing them at least $14 million statewide.
Blankenbush said that he’d like to see the passage of an all form inclusive junior big game hunting license that would allow youth to hunt with a variety of methods. Enabling generations of hunters the ability to pass on other techniques, such as archery, crossbow or muzzle loading styles, to younger sportsmen will help promote the continuation of outdoor sports.
He opposes all legislation that restricts citizen’s second amendment rights. Blankenbush says he opposes measures that would make it costlier and more difficult to buy and keep firearms.
“The worst state policy on firearms is CoBIS, the state’s ballistics fingerprinting program, which is costly and ineffective in solving crime. New York government seems more apt to punish law abiding firearms owners through costly policy, rather than promote the traditional sportsmen component of firearm possession.”
Blankenbush received an “AQ” rating from the National Rifle Association, is a strong supporter of traditional sportsmen and second amendment rights. Outdoor sports have always been a part of North Country living and its economy.