April 13, 2017

Iowa: License Fee Bump to Support Professional Fish and Wildlife Management in House Committee

An important piece of legislation, Iowa H 574, is currently in the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration. H 574 would increase hunting and fishing license fees to provide additional support for professional fish, wildlife, and natural resource management by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This bill is sponsored by the House Natural Resources Committee, which includes two Co-Chairs of the Iowa Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Representative Terry Baxter and Representative Scott Ourth.

Iowa’s 600,000 sportsmen and women are the lifeblood of conservation funding for the Iowa DNR through the American System of Conservation Funding. However, it has been more than a decade since hunting and fishing license fees were adjusted for inflation. The increasing cost of addressing management challenges to Iowa’s natural resources, along with the public’s growing demand for access to these resources, means that sufficiently funding the state’s DNR is now more important than ever.

H 574 would also allow the Iowa DNR to periodically evaluate license fees and submit a written report and recommendation to the state’s Natural Resource Commission. This would allow the DNR to ensure that license fees are sufficient to fund a variety of efforts in Iowa, including projects that benefit all Iowan’s such as:

Iowa’s hunters and anglers spend upwards of $779 million annually on their outdoor pursuits, and support close to 12,000 jobs in the state. Inadequately funding the IA DNR puts the many benefits these dollars provide to Iowa and the state’s vibrant natural resources at risk. For more information on the economic impact of Iowa’s sportsmen and women, please 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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