Governor’s Budget Proposal Would Bolster Fish, Game, Park Funds

A stringer of walleyes. (News Tribune file photo)

 

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials released more information today about proposed DNR fee increases that are part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal.

“Without raising these user fees – some of which have not been increased for more than a decade – Minnesotans and visitors will see deteriorating parks and trail facilities and reduced visitor assistance. There will be declining fishing opportunity and quality, less habitat management on wildlife areas and other public lands and waters, fewer hunting opportunities, and fewer conservation officers to protect resources from poaching and misuse,” according to a statement from DNR officials.

Under the proposal, cost of a resident fishing license would rise from $22 to $25.

A resident deer hunting license would increase from $30 to $34.

The proposal would raise daily state park vehicle fees from $5 to $6. Annual permits would increase from $25 to $30.

The governor also proposes to use $5.5 million from the state’s General Fund to assist in filling 21 empty conservation officer stations across the state.

Also proposed are increases to the three-year registration fees for snowmobiles (from $75 to $105) and ATVs (from $45 to $60); three-year boat registration fees would increase in a range from $2 to $60, depending on the length of the watercraft. Fees for a 17-19 foot watercraft would increase by $18. The state’s daily ski pass would rise from $5 to $7.

The governor’s budget proposal now goes to the Legislature for consideration by lawmakers.