March 9, 2017

Idaho: License Fee Bill Passes House of Representatives

On March 7, the Idaho House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 230, several days after the bill favorably passed out of the House Resources and Environment Committee. The bill, sponsored by the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee, would raise fees for general hunting and fishing licenses as well as tags, and provide additional funding for depredation and sportsmen’s access programs.

This bill would increase the price of most resident general license tags and fees by 20 percent. As noted by Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Director Virgil Moore, the push for an increase in resident fees is driven largely by inflationary pressures that have increased IDFG’s operational costs by 22 percent since the last fee increase was authorized in 2005. The price lock component of the fee legislation – starting in 2018 – will allow those purchasing resident licenses, tags, and permits to stay at the 2017 price they pay for those items during subsequent years. Those who do not buy resident licenses, tags, and permits in 2017 would pay the increased prices for these items starting in 2018.

Additionally, HB 230 would create a new $5 surcharge on resident adult hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and a $10 surcharge on all such nonresident licenses to provide funding for both wildlife depredation activities and sportsmen’s access programs managed by the IDFG. According to IDFG, the surcharge is intended to meet three core goals:

HB 230 was referred to the Senate Committee on Resources and Environment on March 8 and is currently awaiting hearing. CSF will continue to monitor and provide updates on this bill as it progresses during the remainder of the 2017 legislative session. To learn more about this legislation, click here

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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