Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
L. Gallagher

MI Gov proposes new license fees

Recommended Posts

WindyHills

I skipped some of the pages but North Dakota is going up apx 20% on game fees too. It is long over due here. Our deer licenses haven't been raised in about 25 years and most of the other ones haven't reflected the higher costs that NDGF has to deal with. In my state one of the problems is that the legislature insists on micro managing the Department when they don't have a clue.

Hold my breath every time the dakota legislators are meeting, doesn't matter which state.  If I recall right, yours don't meet every year, which helps a bit.  

How are the sportsmen there treating the appointment of a former legislator-- a rancher/farmer who was a huge opponent of purchase of game lands and conservation easements, and is said to not favor any conservation measures or regulations designed to mitigate the harm from expanding oil and gas development--as deputy director of game and fish?  

Would sure be nice to see the oil/gas fee proposal pass there, but I hope this new appointment doesn't mean the powers that be have written off most conservation measures!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remo

Ok, I should have mentioned that our legislature hates the Public Trust Doctrine.

There are 2 bills in to raise fees, one from the senate side and the other from the house. This fee increase is across the board, not just residents versus non-residents, and is a modest increase IMO. It will go to conference committee.

By law the NDGF budget reserve cannot fall below a specific amount and NDGF is at that point because deer license sales dropped with the low number of deer. Deer licenses are the bread and butter of Department funding here. So we are all going to get bumped if we hunt in ND. But the cost should be less than a steak supper or 1/2 a tank of gas.

Windy, you will be interested that ND dropped it's court case against the Audubon Society over NGO land ownership. ND was afraid of losing, and thus over turning it's stance, so they grandfathered Audubon's ground. Pretty slick. More to come on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Larry Brown

Seems to me it may be time for the states to go after the so-called "nonconsumptive" users.  Hunters pay for public hunting areas in our license fees, and also in the hidden taxes (Pittman-Robertson) on firearms and ammo.  We can use those areas for only a small portion of the year for hunting.  Even dog training is restricted (which it should be when there are nests/young chicks).  However, hikers, birdwatchers etc get to use those areas for free, any time they want to.  How about a "public lands use fee" for the "nonconsumptive" users, said fee waived for those who buy hunting licenses?

Back years ago, the Iowa DNR tried to tap into money from nonsumptive users on a voluntary basis.  They came up with a Nongame Support Certificate.  Nice photo of a cardinal.  At the time, I was Iowa editor of the old Fins & Feathers magazine.  I wrote in my column that I'd purchased one, and urged all subscribers to do the same.  I'm guessing a lot of hunters figured they were already paying their fair share, and I guess the nonconsumptive types figured they didn't need to pay anything.  The DNR printed 5,000 of those certificates, offered them for $5.  Didn't sell all of them.  "Nonconsumptive is a misnomer by the way, because building a bike trail (although in some cases, there are fees connected with bike trails) is one heck of a lot more "consumptive" than me and my dog walking through a field of grass and shooting a pheasant or two.  Mother Nature will make up for the pheasants I shoot.  She won't make up for the habitat removed to make that asphalt bike trail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
L. Gallagher

That's been suggested here several times, Larry, like Iowa, it never got very far, not even as far as a certificate or anything official.

At the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association meeting last week, however, our new DNR Director brought the subject up again.

I wrote an article several years ago for an April Fools Day joke as the lead story for that week's paper about the DNR requiring a new license for morel mushroom hunters...that got all kinds of reaction, and had a lot of people thinking they really needed to buy a license. They should. Look at all the people who make money on morels they find on public land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bobman

Larry the reason you don't want those "non consumptive " people buying licenses is

the next thing that will happen is the horse riders, hikers ect many of whom are anti hunting will start bitchin and complaining about having to worry about hunters.....actaully happened down here on some WMA's

I'd rather pay more and not have them feel entitled to dictate what we can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wildbird
 Guess I'll just stay down here with the rest of the low brows and shoot road signs.

Rifle or shotgun? I need to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bobman

these liciense fees will sure hurt somone with 2-3 young boys that want to hunt

leasing down here has done that to many young guys, they find other pastimes that are more affordable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bosco mctavitch
Larry the reason you don't want those "non consumptive " people buying licenses is

the next thing that will happen is the horse riders, hikers ect many of whom are anti hunting will start bitchin and complaining about having to worry about hunters.....actaully happened down here on some WMA's

I'd rather pay more and not have them feel entitled to dictate what we can do.

X2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bosco mctavitch
Donald Robinson

Come on Robert, we know you run ads on Craigslist under the Men for Men section and work in the comfort of your stained bed. How about getting a real job and stop being a loser

Glad the issue is being intelligently discussed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dan Voss
Dan, you have remember that North Dakota gets a Grade F for political corruption.

The ND legislature is primarily composed of elderly white ultra conservative men. They have no love and certainly no respect for the  ND Game & Fish Department. Science is a dirty word here. So the legislature refuses to use 1 cent of any ND tax money for the Department. Yet tourism is the third largest industry. The total costs and benefits of wildlife management are based on license fees in ND. On top of that the ND legislature is constantly raiding the NDGF account by amending in non-wildlife related budget items for "special" projects.

Is this thought to be primarily caused by the major population centers (Fargo, Bismark/Mandan, Dickinson, etc.) overwhelming the wishes of rural ND?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Larry Brown
Larry the reason you don't want those "non consumptive " people buying licenses is

the next thing that will happen is the horse riders, hikers ect many of whom are anti hunting will start bitchin and complaining about having to worry about hunters.....actaully happened down here on some WMA's

I'd rather pay more and not have them feel entitled to dictate what we can do.

That's always a concern, bobman.  But maybe even worse is the number of people taking jobs with DNR's who don't hunt or fish.  We're going to be facing an ever greater "nongame, nonconsumptive" lobby whether we try to take money from them or not.  Might at least try to squeeze some bucks out of them.  And if they can muster enough to buy an area on which to build horse or hiking trails without using hunter $, I'll be more than glad to let them have exclusive use of that area.  Hey, stop and think:  If they have their own areas where we evil hunters don't bother them, then there won't be as many of them on the areas we paid for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steelheadfred

Email from a high level tourism official in Michigan, he attached a spreadsheet from a quick check he did.

Fritz,

I did some checking (spread sheet attached) of states nearby Michigan and, I agree, Michigan’s proposed small game and fishing license fees for “non-resident” puts us at a non-competitive position to states that I would think that we compete with for hunting and fishing.  Conversely, I think our “resident” small game is very low as compared to other states.  Michigan’s proposed non-resident small game fee is 47% higher than the average of the 6 states I looked at and the proposed non-resident fishing fee is 54% higher than the average of the same 6 states.  And our “resident” small game is one-half of the average of the 6 states.

I have no idea what the number of licenses sold are for resident and non-resident but it would be interesting to see what a $5 increase in resident small game would do with a smaller increase in the non-resident category to increase revenue but keep us competitive.  I think I’ll check with DNR to see if they have the numbers of sales for resident and non-resident.  

I’ll put this on my list of things to talk to our reps about and the new House Tourism Committee as well.

That's always a concern, bobman.  But maybe even worse is the number of people taking jobs with DNR's who don't hunt or fish.  We're going to be facing an ever greater "nongame, nonconsumptive" lobby whether we try to take money from them or not.  Might at least try to squeeze some bucks out of them.  And if they can muster enough to buy an area on which to build horse or hiking trails without using hunter $, I'll be more than glad to let them have exclusive use of that area.  Hey, stop and think:  If they have their own areas where we evil hunters don't bother them, then there won't be as many of them on the areas we paid for.

Larry,

I have a minor in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University, it was a bit of a chore but somehow I convinced both heads of Hospitality & Tourism Management along with NRM that without Natural Resources we did not have Tourism. So instead of finance classes I sat in NRM mostly focused on Policy type classes instead of science.

I was many times the only student in the class that hunted and fished. It was shocking.

A friend of mine works for the DNR in a great lakes state, got fed up in a meeting over some such policy and said "Why doesn't the department of fisheries audit every employee and fire each one that does not have a current fishing license!"

He was disciplined for his comments.

What you describe is a huge issue going forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

That's always a concern, bobman.  But maybe even worse is the number of people taking jobs with DNR's who don't hunt or fish.  We're going to be facing an ever greater "nongame, nonconsumptive" lobby whether we try to take money from them or not.  Might at least try to squeeze some bucks out of them.  And if they can muster enough to buy an area on which to build horse or hiking trails without using hunter $, I'll be more than glad to let them have exclusive use of that area.  Hey, stop and think:  If they have their own areas where we evil hunters don't bother them, then there won't be as many of them on the areas we paid for.

Larry,

I have a minor in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University, it was a bit of a chore but somehow I convinced both heads of Hospitality & Tourism Management along with NRM that without Natural Resources we did not have Tourism. So instead of finance classes I sat in NRM mostly focused on Policy type classes instead of science.

I was many times the only student in the class that hunted and fished. It was shocking.

A friend of mine works for the DNR in a great lakes state, got fed up in a meeting over some such policy and said "Why doesn't the department of fisheries audit every employee and fire each one that does not have a current fishing license!"

He was disciplined for his comments.

What you describe is a huge issue going forward.

Fritz:

Just for context.

We include non-residents in our annual small game hunter survey. As a result of this survey we estimate that 2,000-3,000 non-residents visit MN to grouse hunt in a given year.

As far as MN DNR staff and their interest in hunting and angling. I work in the Central Office and sit on the floor with all the Wildlife Section staff.

The vast majority of the staff hunt and we have a very visible hunting culture as we are always sharing game dishes and there is lots of office conversation around hunting.

As a grouse and woodcock hunter I'm particularly happy that both the Wildlife Section Chief and what amounts to the second in control Steve Merchant both hunt grouse.

In fact Steve Merchant is an avid grouse and woodcock hunter. He hunts behind a Berg Brothers setter and is about as knowledgeable about the bird, it's habitat base and challenges as anybody I know.

As far as future employees, when you consider the long-term declining trends in per capita hunting and angling participation it doesn't surprise me one bit that there are less young men and women entering the natural resources field that come from a hunting family/culture or hunt themselves.

I'm sorry to have to break the news but we hunters are becoming increasingly less relevant to society as a whole and although this concerns the heck out of me, we shouldn't be surprised if this decreasing relevance is reflected in the future makeup of natural resource agency focus and staff.

Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave Hamming
Jay's last line scares the heck out of me. Hunting and shooting is under assault on too many fronts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×