A legislative committee has introduced a bill combining Fish and Game’s Price Lock fee increase with a proposal to create more money to manage wildlife depredation and increase access for hunting and fishing, which combined would raise an estimated $5 million in annual revenue.
A hearing on House Bill 230 has been scheduled by the House Resources and Conservation Committee for members of the public to comment. The hearing will occur at the Idaho Statehouse on Friday, March 3 at 1:30 pm.
Idaho Fish and Game will post regular updates as lawmakers consider and deliberate the bill. You can find updates on the Fish and Game website: https://idfg.idaho.gov.
Here's a link to House Bill HB 230: https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2017/legislation/H0230/
Here’s more information about the elements of House Bill 230.
If approved, the 20 percent increase in resident license and tag fees would take effect when Fish and Game’s 2018 licenses go on sale in December, 2017. However, under Price Lock, resident hunters, anglers and trappers can exempt themselves from the fee increase and “lock in” at current prices by simply purchasing and maintaining an annual license starting in 2017, and for at least the next five years.
The Price Lock fee increase proposal would generate an estimated $3 million in additional revenue to be used for activities such as:
- Modernize hatcheries and increase fish production
- Conduct more big game population surveys
- Spend more to improve and maintain public shooting ranges
- Conduct more enforcement patrols
- Increase predator management
Depredation Management/Access Fee
The proposal also includes an annual $5 dollar charge for adult resident hunters, anglers and trappers, and a $10 charge for nonresidents to purchase annual hunting, fishing or trapping licenses.
This would be a fee paid when you buy your first annual license of the year. It would not apply to any additional annual license purchased later that year.
Revenue from the proposed fee would generate an estimated $ 2 million annually. Here’s how the funds would be utilized each year:
- $500,000 more funding to pay compensation claims for crop damages caused by wildlife
- $500,000 more funding to prevent crop and forage damage from big game herds
- The remaining $1 million will be used to provide access to land from willing landowners for hunting and fishing
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recognizes that by managing for abundant big game herds, there is also a responsibility to address impacts those herds cause to privately owned farms and ranches, and that more money for hunting and fishing access programs for easements and access agreements are a high priority for sportsmen and sportswomen.
The commission is also committed to ensuring that Idaho’s hunting and fishing public benefit by improving hunting, fishing and trapping opportunity through adequate funding for fish and wildlife management.