DNR seeks fee hikes from hunters, anglers

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff say the quality of outdoor life will be significantly reduced if the department isn’t allowed to increase the cost of hunting and fishing licenses.

The DNR is proposing to raise the price of hunting and fishing licenses as part of its Hunting and Fishing Heritage Initiative. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton included the increase in his budget proposal, but lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature have been lukewarm, at best, to the idea of an increase in fees.

Hunting and fishing license fees haven’t increased since 2001. Adjusted for inflation, a $17 resident fishing license would cost about $23 today.

DNR staff on Monday night said the fee hike is necessary to maintain the balance of the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund, which is projected to hit zero by 2015. The fund is directly maintained by hunting and fishing license dollars, DNR officials said, and revenues now exceed expenditures by about $2.6 million annually (Grand Forks Herald).

Staff also batted back an idea that Legacy Funds could be used to offset the shortfall. If you have suggestions for the DNR leave them in the comment section, or Tweet them to @mntoday.

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