Good news for anglers and hunters!
Last Wednesday, I received a release from the govenor’s press office announcing the new plan to reduce the cost of hunting and fishing licenses. The plan is to streamline the licenses to support tourism and benefit sportsmen and women throughout the state.
This proposal is part of the 30, day amendments to the 2013-2014 executive budget, and would reduce fees paid by hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers and trappers to maintain support for the state’s fish and wildlife proposals.
These proposals are intended to simplify a current license structure and hopefully foster recruitment and retention of resident and non-resident hunters, anglers, and trappers.
Currently. our fishing licenses expire Sept. 30, regardless of when they are purchased. Under this new proposal, they will be good for a full year from date of purchase. Combining small- and big-game licenses has also been proposed.
The on-and-off-again marine fishing registration will be simplified by making it permanent, and under this proposal, free. Now let’s look at the proposed changes.
The annual resident hunting fees, current/proposed amounts are: hunting, $29/$22; bowhunting privilege, $21/$20, and muzzleloading, $21/$11. The out-of-state (non-resident) hunting, $140/$100; bowhunting privilege, $140/$40; muzzleloading, $140/$30; and one-day turkey, $50/$20.
I have to comment on the reductions on the non-resident fees — the reductions are too much. I have hunted in a number of other states for deer, bear, turkeys and small game and have never had to pay less than $200. The turkey hunt I’ll be doing in Florida next month will cost me $171, and that’s only a 10-day license.
The annual resident fishing fees, current/proposed amounts are $29/$25. The annual non-resident fishing fee is proposed to be reduced from $70 to $50, and the one-day fishing from $15 to $10. The seven-day, non-resident license is apparently going to be removed.
According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation, over 90 million U.S. residents age 16 and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent about $145 billion on their ventures. New York state remains near the top in hunter and angler licenses with an estimated 1.88 million anglers and 823,000 hunters. New York was second in the nation in angler spending and sixth in non-resident angler spending. And this generates $108 million in state and local taxes.
Hunters placed fourth in the nation in spending, generating $290 million in state and local taxes. And the state ranked third in total number of resident hunters.
Several sportsmen/women had positive comments on the state’s new licensing structure. Jason Kemper, chair of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, said, “The Conservation Fund Advisory Board [CFAB] is very pleased that the governor has decided to simplify the sporting license structure and reduce some of the fees associated with these licenses. CFAB is confident that these actions will increase participation in hunting, fishing and trapping in New York state which will continue to enhance the positive economic impact of the State of New York that these activities generate.”
Additionally, trapping privileges will be folded into the hunting license for no additional fee for certified trappers and they’ll maintain Junior Trapper and Trapper Mentor opportunities.
MORE GOOD NEWS
By the start of the 2013 boating season, five new boat launching facilities wil be open. They are: Chaumont Bay and Point Peninsula Isthmus on Lake Ontario, upper Hudson River in Fort Edward, Lake Champlain in the city of Plattsburgh and Cuba Lake boat launch in Allegany County. Work is under way for a boat launch on Round Lake.
There have also been some boat launch rehabilitation efforts in the state. There’s a complete upgrade of the Crusher Boat Launch on the Raquette River and lengthening of the Horicon launch ramp on Schroon Lake. Plans are also under way for expansion of the Second Pond boat launch on Lower Saranac Lake, repairs to the Peru Launch site on Lake Champlain, reconstruction of the Northville launch ramp and installation of the new boating dock at Saratoga County boat launch, both on the Great Sacandaga Lake.
Earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced that $50,000 has been awarded to the
Mohawk River Basin Program. These grants were made to conserve, protect and restore fish, wildlife and their habitats, improve water quality, promote flood hazard risk reduction, revitalize the Mohawk River Basin communities and maintain working landscapes by supporting well-managed farms and forest lands.
These grant amounts and their recipients are: Mohawk, Hudson Land Conservancy,$6,500; Schoharie River Center, $10,000; Town of Colonie, $10,000; Town of Niskayuna, $10,000; Schoharie County, $10,000; and ECOIS, the Environmental Clearinghouse, $3,500.