By Virgil Moore, Director Idaho Fish and Game
Idaho’s hunters, anglers and trappers expect professional management of Idaho’s wildlife resources including our fisheries. As a sportsman, you know that scientific management is key to providing quality hunting and fishing for you and for future generations. Idaho Fish and Game is proud to be supported by sportsmen and women. Your license dollars are critical both to daily wildlife management, and in the legacy of wildlife conservation that started in Idaho over 75 years ago.
It has been over 12 years since resident fees were last increased. During that time, Fish and Game’s operational costs have increased over 22 percent due to inflation. The level of services Fish and Game provides and our capacity to manage are both decreasing because of increased costs. As a result, we are stocking fewer trout and conducting fewer game and fish population surveys.
Idaho Fish and Game receives no general tax revenue. Because we are funded by your license dollars, the usual solution to keeping up with inflation is to either cut programs or increase fees. We believe that most hunters and anglers want us to maintain the level of services and professional management we have been providing. To do that, Fish and Game needs additional revenue. But instead of simply proposing to increase fees, Fish and Game has developed a new approach to try to maintain programs and keep up with inflation. We call it the Fish and Game Price Lock.
Most Idahoans hunt and fish. Many do so every year – providing consistent revenue to fund the necessary management programs Fish and Game implements on your behalf. However, a larger percentage of Idaho’s hunters and anglers don’t buy licenses every year.
When the Idaho Legislature convenes next month, Fish and Game will propose raising the price of most resident licenses, tags and permits between $1 and $6 starting in 2018. A fee increase must be approved by lawmakers and signed into law by the governor. However, under the Price Lock proposal, hunters, anglers and trappers can exempt themselves from the fee increase and “lock in” at the current price for all licenses, tags and permits simply by purchasing an annual license in 2017, and each year thereafter. Idahoans who hunt and fish every year would continue to pay the current fees, not the increased fees.
We believe the Fish and Game Price Lock will encourage enough of the intermittent hunters and anglers to buy a license every year and will generate the revenue needed to keep up with inflation and help us provide quality hunting and fishing in Idaho every year, whether they use their license or not.
I invite you to learn more about the Price Lock proposal by visiting the Idaho Fish and Game website at: https://idfg.idaho.gov/about/price-lock
Thank you for supporting Idaho Fish and Game and wildlife conservation in Idaho and I wish you great hunting, fishing and trapping in 2017.