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Fishing and hunting license fees will not go up in 2007

Fishing and hunting license fees will not go up in 2007

March 14, 2006 - Fishing and hunting license fees will not go up in 2007

Utah legislature gives DWR $2.2 million in additional funding

You won't have to pay more to fish and hunt in Utah in 2007.

During the recent Utah legislative session, state legislators voted to give the Division of Wildlife Resources an additional $2.2 million to cover a budget shortfall the division was facing. Without the extra money, the DWR faced two choices: raise fishing and hunting license fees or make substantial budget cuts that would include reducing employees.

"Legislators were very generous to Utah's wildlife this past legislative session," says Jim Karpowitz, director of the DWR. "If you enjoy the state's wildlife, you should thank your local representative and senator for the support they gave it. Without that support, we would have needed an increase in fishing and hunting license fees."

Karpowitz says legislators recognize that wildlife is valuable to everyone in Utah. "They understand that wildlife adds a lot to the quality of life for everyone in Utah," he said. "They also realize that the financial burden for managing the state's wildlife shouldn't be placed only on the shoulders of hunters and anglers."

Even with the ongoing funding, the DWR could face another shortfall in 2008 if the agency doesn't find a way to obtain additional revenue. "We're looking at several new options to attract more people to fishing and hunting," Karpowitz said. New license sales could offset the need for license fee increases in 2008.

In addition to the $2.2 million added to the DWR's budget, state legislators approved $5 million to rebuild the Midway State Fish Hatchery and $2.5 million to improve watersheds in Utah. "These additional dollars will be a great investment for the future of fish and wildlife in Utah," Karpowitz said.