A recent opportunity to take a 12-year old panfishing produced a small stringer for her, and an opportunity for me to reflect.
What a bargain we enjoy when we fish or hunt.
A $17 resident fishing license opens up the outdoors for 365 days.
That fee could rise to $22 if a bill introduced by State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R, Alexandria, musters the support it needs.
Here’s why outdoor and conservation groups from across the state are supporting the measure.
The state’s Fish and Game fund is on its way to the red as early as July, 2013. The state hasn’t raised its license fees in 11 years. It has been doing a lot of cutting as the revenues stay static and the costs of doing business rise.
We see the consequences of the cuts here. There are fewer Department of Natural Resource employees. The Spicer fisheries office once had 12 employees. Now there are six.
The wildlife office once located in Willmar has lost two foresters and a shallow lake specialist.
There are fewer people to take care of and monitor our natural resources. It means a decline in fishing and hunting opportunities.
We need to reverse this trend, and to think about what we are leaving for the future. We’re already overdue. It’s time to raise our license fees.
- Tom Cherveny