OK fee increases

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nobody enjoys expense increases, but sometimes they are necessary. That is the case with hunting and fishing license fee increases that the Minnesota Legislature is considering as this year’s sessions winds to an end. Although they may not be popular, the increases are in the best interests of the sports they support.

Earlier this week, the Senate OK’s a bill that would increase by $5 the cost of an individual fishing license and by $4 the cost of a deer hunting license. Those and other license fees help support fish stocking programs and the cost of maintaining boat landings, sate wildlife areas and other facilities that make it easier to enjoy Minnesota hunting and fishing. The fees have not increased for 10 years.

Given the cost of fishing and hunting gear, a license remains one of the least expensive items that outdoors enthusiasts must acquire. A single fishing lure often costs more than the $5 license fee increase, and the expense of rifles and camouflage gear dwarf the $4 deer hunting license increase.

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Lawmakers have forecast a tough fight in the House over the fee increases. But the reality is that they make sense and are virtually a necessity to ensure the health of hunting and fishing. We hope the bill makes its way to the governor’s desk and becomes law.