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Wyoming Considers License Fee Increases

September 11, 2012.

Wyoming is considering fee increases, and they're going to be painful for non-residents. The most recent license fee increase in Wyoming was in 2008. If approved, new proposed fees will kick in in the 2013/2014 timeframe.

Proposed license fee adjustments are based on rates of inflation, prices in adjacent states, and optimum price points calculated by Southwick Associates, an independent research firm specializing in fish and wildlife economics and statistics.

I'm a diehard capitalist, and I respect the right of WG&F to set prices at the level the market will bear. At the same time, though, we have to recognize that these prices will push a Wyoming hunt out of consideration for a lot of families.

Tag Current  Proposed Change
Antelope - Non-Resident $270 $370 37%
Antelope - Non-Resident Special $510 $660 29%
Deer - Non-Resident $310 $520 68%
Elk - Non-Resident $575 $750 30%
Elk - Non-Resident Special $1,055 $1,330 26%
Moose - Non-Resident $1,400 $1,750 25%
Bighorn Sheep - Non-Resident $2,250 $2,500 11%
Mountain Goat - Non-Resident $2,150 $2,600 21%
Bison - Non-Resident Bull $2,500 $3,038 22%
Bison - Non-Resident Cow $2,500 $1,500 -40%
Black Bear - Non-Resident $360 $438 22%
Mountain Lion - Non-Resident $360 $438 22%
Turkey - Non-Resident $70 $85 21%
Grizzly - Non-Resident* $6,000 $7,290 22%

Non-Resident Doe/Fawn/Cow

Varies No change 0%
* What????

Additionally, there is also a proposal on the table for fee indexing, which would give the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission authority to adjust license fees based on the rate of inflation with periodic commission and legislative review. Currently, nearly all license fees must be approved by the Legislature.

“These proposals, if adopted, will allow the department to maintain its current level of service for four or five years, and maybe a little longer,” says WGFD Deputy Director John Emmerich. "Beyond that, there is a real need to find new and alternative sources of funding. Hunters and anglers currently pay for 80 percent of our operating costs and will continue to be a vital source for funding support in the future. However, it is no longer fair for them to bear such a high percentage of our budget, especially in a state like Wyoming, where so many people benefit from our wildlife.”

The department has set up a page on the WGFD website for the public to submit comments. The public is encouraged to review these proposals and discuss them with WGFD personnel or provide comments via the website. Those interested can take part in the meeting at any WGFD office or via the internet at Input will be used to develop a final proposal for consideration by the Legislative Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Joint Committee at their November 9, 2012, meeting in Lander.

“We really want to hear from the public on our proposals for short-term funding increases, as well as ideas for broadening our funding base,” says Talbott. “We’ll review everything we hear from the public with the legislature to determine the best path forward.”


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