North Carolina: Conservation Funding Legislation Advances

Contact: John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager

On August 7, House Bill 597 passed its third reading in the Senate on a 30-2 vote. Sponsored by North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Michael Wray and Representative Larry Yarborough and Caucus member Representative Jay Adams, HB 597 would make a number of changes to license fees and licensing requirements.

Projected to raise significant revenue for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC), the legislation was supported by the North Carolina sportsmen’s community as the WRC is largely funded by licenses sales through the “user-pays, public-benefits” structure known as the American System of Conservation Funding

Specific changes include:

  • Resident Annual Combination Hunting and Fishing License increases from $25.00 to $35.00;
  • Resident State Hunting License increases from $20.00 to $25.00;
  • Nonresident State Hunting License Season License increases from $80.00 to $100.00;
  • Nonresident State Hunting Ten-Day License increases from $60.00 to $80.00;
  • Nonresident Big Game Hunting Season License increases from $80.00 to $100.00;
  • Nonresident Big Game Hunting Ten-Day License increases from $60.00 to $80.00;
  • Clarifies that the Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Combination Hunting and Inland Fishing License, the Resident Disabled Veteran Sportsman License, and the Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Inland Fishing License remain valid for the lifetime of the licensee;
  • Resident State Inland Fishing License increases from $20.00 to $25.00;
  • Nonresident State Inland Fishing License increases from $36.00 to $45.00;
  • Resident 10-day Inland Fishing License increases from $7.00 to $9.00;
  • Nonresident 10-day Inland Fishing License increases from $18.00 to $23.00;
  • Creation of a Falconry Hunting License for $25.00;
  • Creation of a Resident Lifetime Trapping License for $300.00;
  • Creation of a Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Three-Day Fishing License for $8.00; and
  • Increases the Taxidermy License from $10.00 to $50.00.

The legislation would also allow trappers to tag their traps with the trapper identification number provided by the WRC in lieu of using their name and address.

“I was honored to carry the WRC omnibus bill. This legislation will provide additional financial stability to the WRC so it can continue to manage our public trust resources and provide quality hunting and angling opportunities to North Carolinians at a fair cost in line with other Southern states,” Rep. Adams.

In 2018, North Carolina’s sportsmen and women generated more $56 million for conservation funding.

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