License and tag fees proposed to rise $1-$6

Idaho Fish and Game is proposing legislation that would increase fees, but would also allow hunters and anglers who buy every year to “lock” the 2013 rates for the next three to five years.

Idaho Fish and Game is hoping hunters and anglers will like this idea, called a “fee lock.” Agency officials think it will help raise needed revenue, and at the same time reduce the need for fee increases.

Idaho resident license fees are the same today as they were in 2005. At the same time, the cost of managing Idaho’s wildlife has increased.

Instead of calling for a traditional fee hike, Fish and Game is proposing a two-part plan that gives hunters and anglers the choice to lock in the price of a license, or not.

Here’s how it could work:

Fish and Game will present two proposals to the legislature in January. One seeks authority for the Fish and Game Commission to discount license and tag fees. The second seeks to raise fees on most resident licenses, tags and fees between $1 and $6. If both parts of the proposal become law, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission could create the fee lock.

For Idahoans who consistently buy annual licenses, the price of a license and tags would be the same as buying them in 2013. Hunters and anglers who don’t buy a license every year would pay the increased price.

The commission would review the fee lock in three to five years and decide whether it is working and whether it should continue.

Licenses and tags fund Idaho Fish and Game, but not all hunters and anglers consistently buy hunting and fishing licenses every year. The fee lock would reward those who buy annual licenses and hopefully encourage others to do the same. If more people bought a license every year, Fish and Game’s funding would be more stable for wildlife management, and there would be less need for regular fee increases.

To inform license buyers about the legislation and what it means to them, Fish and Game has developed a flier and a web page.

Copies of the flier will be available at regional office and most vendors.

The “Fee Lock” webpage includes a short video and Q&A. The link is in the lower left of the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

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