"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
About Bayou Bill
Recent Rambles
DNR Doings
Wild Recipes



Successful Last Gasp Effort To Finance DNR Point-of-Sale License System
Copyright © 2003 by Bill Scifres

The smoke has not yet cleared from the most recent edition of the legislature, so it is difficult to say which bills, concepts, and tom-foolery got through. But the move of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish a computerized point-of-sale license setup made it with a last gasp effort.

As you may recall, the big rub evolved from the fact that the DNR was seeking authorization by the legislature to spend more of a dedicated fund (derived from the sale of lifetime hunting-fishing licenses) to finance establishing a point-of-sale license program. The law which created lifetime licenses and established the fund (now almost $20,000,000) provided that the natural resources agency and satellite Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) would be permitted to use only about 2.5 percent of the fund each year.

The DNR wanted to use its annual 2.5 percent windfall plus another $5,000,000 (roughly 25 percent) in one fell swoop. A bill which would have accomplished that passed the house but was stalled in the Senate when it was not heard by Sen. Lawrence Borst's Senate Finance Committee. Thus, as the clock wound down toward sine die, the point-of-sale program appeared deader than the proverbial mackerel.

Enter a conference committee which was considering House Bill (HB) 1552. Wanting point-of-sale like a hog wants slop, DNR brass tackled members of the conference committee and gained some backing. But Sen. Borst still would have to approve, which he apparently did.

The bill still must gain the signatures of presidents of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the Governor, but this is considered a walkover.

So where, what, when, and how much?

Steve Sellers, chief of the DNR's tub thumpers, sifted through the legislative ruins last Monday. While some facets of the scenario still are a bit foggy, here is what he could tell me with some degree of certainty:

"A formal request for proposals to develop and provide a point-of-sale license system is expected to be advertised by the state Dept. of Administration in June (or possibly in late May).

"The system's development and implementation will be funded by the lifetime license fund. The POS proposal was included in HB 1552, which was the DNR bill."

Steve has, of course, said he will keep this department advised on the proceedings, and you may be assured that this column will pass along the details.


My morel safaris and related outings have revealed that this is, indeed, one of our strangest springs of recent years, and that such things as wild asparagus, morels, pokeweed et al. operate on their own time clocks and that theories that photosynthesis is the big factor may be as reliable as a politician's promises on election day.

Many of the wildflowers have finished their spring rite of beautifying the woodlands and that, in an ordinary spring, would mean it is time for "big yaller" (yellow) morels. But as of last Friday I still was finding fresh black morels without seeing "hide nor hair" of grays--much less yallers.

As of that date I had found only one gray and they have to be far into the spring cycle before the big yallers bless our view. The predicted mid-week rain could bring about the explosion of grays in central and northern parts of the state. At least we can hope. Spearheads, or whatever you call them, may also be influenced by rain.

In the meantime, some of my old standby wild asparagus patches have emerged while others still are dormant . . . and pokeweed has not sent up new growth at any of my spots. 

The paw-paw bloom is showing great potential for a bumper crop of Indiana bananas come fall.

All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

 Return to beginning of document
Return to Bayou Bill's Home Page