The taxes we pay provide funds for many of the services and programs provided by federal and local government agencies. Police departments, fire departments, public schools, transportation, parks, health and welfare programs and many more… are all paid for by the taxpayer.
It comes as a surprise to many people when they hear that the agency that manages wildlife resources in the state, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), is not financed by income tax, property tax, or state sales tax.
IDFG is funded through license and tag sales paid by hunters, anglers, and trappers; and excise taxes those same people pay on hunting and fishing equipment. Those who hunt, fish, and trap pay for the management of wildlife in Idaho.
Retail sales of wildlife related recreation equipment in Idaho annually produces over $100 million in Idaho sales tax revenue for the state general fund. Yet, Idaho Fish and Game does not receive any money from the general fund.
IDFG employs112 Conservation Officers who enforce all laws of the State of Idaho. IDFG manages 365,000 acres of state land and 32 wildlife management areas, provides and maintains 350 boating and fishing access sites, and plants 32 million fish a year in over 600 lakes and streams. All of this is done at no cost to the taxpayer unless they choose to be a hunter or angler.
If you do not financially support the management of wildlife in Idaho by buying a hunting, fishing, or trapping license (or, even if you do); there is a way you can voluntarily support wildlife programs. When you prepare your state income taxes, a check-off on the state tax form allows you to choose to voluntarily contribute.