Michigan hunting, fishing license fee hike (first since 1997) will put more biologists, conservation officers in the field
More wildlife biologists and conservation cops soon will be in the field thanks to legislation approved Tuesday by the State House of Representatives. The bill raises about $20 million for natural resource conservation and management by increasing fees for hunting and fishing licenses.
We're glad to see this much-needed measure headed to Gov. Snyder's desk, where he's expected to sign it-the fee restructuring was part of his 2014 budget proposal. After approving an earlier version in June, the House on Tuesday voted 72-36 to OK Senate changes to the bill.
Michigan's license fees haven't increased since 1997 and are among the cheapest in the country. At MEC we're of the mind that it's worth paying a little extra to make sure Michigan's natural resources are protected, and we're glad our state's hunters and anglers voiced their willingness to invest in conservation. It ought to cost at least as much for a deer license here as it does in New Jersey. Sorry, New Jersey, but let's be real.
The bill also streamlines a system that has grown to 227 different types of license fees, cutting that number to about 40. While most fees will increase, there still will be discounts for seniors, young hunters and members of the military. The changes take effect in March 2014.
For more on the legislation and details on the proposed license fees, check out this statement from the folks at MUCC, who deserve a lot of credit for pushing the bill across the finish line.