Editorial: Hunting, fishing fees need a hikeMinnesota is renowned for its outdoors opportunities, and the Minnesota Senate recognized that Monday.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Minnesota is renowned for its outdoors opportunities, and the Minnesota Senate recognized that Monday.
The Senate voted 43-22 to increase fees for hunting and fishing licenses across the state. The fees are part of a larger bill, though, that was still being debated Monday afternoon. In the event of its passage, it would go the House, which earlier this session passed a similar bill that didn’t contain the fee hikes.
No one likes to pay more for anything, whether it’s an item at the grocery store, gasoline or— of course — taxes. The hunting and fishing licenses, meanwhile, represent user fees; the revenue from the users goes directly into the outdoors sports those same users enjoy.
A virtual who-who’s of outdoors groups are on board with the fee increases. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says they’ll go broke without them. As was noted in a Friday Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald editorial published in this newspaper, the DNR’s website states that “at current spending and revenue levels, the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund balance will reach zero by July 2013.”
It has been 11 years since these fees have been increased. The Herald editorial suggested “the poisonous political atmosphere” may ultimately stall the change. We hope that’s not so, and that Minnesota legislators remember the great outdoors — and how it makes their state so special — when considering their vote.