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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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REP. TORKELSON WANTS PUBLIC INPUT ON PROPOSED HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE FEE INCREASE LEGISLATION

Thursday, March 29, 2012
ST. PAUL – Would you support an increase in the cost of an annual or lifetime hunting and fishing license? This question will likely be answered by the Minnesota House of Representatives in the coming weeks, and State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Nelson Township) wants your input. “Funds in the Game and Fish Fund have been declining for years, and the Department of Natural Resources doesn’t think it can remain solvent without funding increases,” Torkelson said. “Lawmakers need to determine whether the DNR should simply reduce game and fish spending in order to make up for the lost revenue or if fee increases are warranted.” The Game and Fish Fund helps improve fish and wildlife conservation in the State of Minnesota. Revenue is generated through sales of hunting and fishing licenses, which have been in decline over the past few years. The DNR projects that the state’s Game and Fish fund will be insolvent by July 2013 if more revenue is not added this session, and noted that it has been eleven years since hunting and fishing licenses fees have been raised. How would you be impacted? Torkelson said Minnesota anglers would see a $5 increase for an annual fishing license, while small game hunters would see an additional $3 cost and deer hunters would pay $4 more for their license. Adults buying lifetime licenses would see a more significant increase, while youth hunting and fishing licenses would become more affordable in order to encourage participation. “I have heard from hunting and fishing organizations that support the legislation because they believe a funding increase will better support their sport,” Torkelson said. “I fully expect the Legislature to make a fee increase decision this session, but before that happens, I’d like to know how the hunters and anglers in Brown, Redwood, and Watonwan counties feel about the proposal.” To share your comments, you can reach Rep. Torkelson by phone at 1-888-727-3891 or by email at rep.paul.torkelson@house.mn.