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  • License fee increases on the horizon

    Here's the story for your perusal, and comments. But my biggest question is why do fishermen/women, have to pay higher license fees than hunters? Is that fair?

    My second question is, why "MUST" our fees rise? Why does it seem like that, is the only solution every time this pops up? Why does it even need to be, in the mix. To me, it's just another form of taxation. Why can't the big shots, and the politicians, solve this WITHOUT raising our fees? Aren't they smart enough to know that more raises, will proportionally continue to DECREASE the sales of licenses? Seems self defeating, to me.

    Please keep, your comments civil. I am only posing questions, to ponder & discuss.


    ODFW: License fees must rise as hunting, fishing is down

    Zach Urness, Statesman JournalPublished 6:30 p.m. PT June 5, 2014 | Updated 6:42 p.m. PT June 5, 2014

    (Photo: Thomas Patterson / Statesman Journal)
    With hunting and fishing participation at its lowest levels in Oregon in 30 years, and operating costs on the rise, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is facing a projected $32 million gap as it works to create a budget for the 2015-17 biennium.

    Agency officials addressed how it would balance that shortfall at a Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Thursday in Salem, laying out a multipronged approach that includes cutting staff and programs, raising prices on licenses and tags, and a request for increased capital from the state's general fund.

    The commission will meet again in August to approve the budget or make changes, before sending it to the governor's office and legislature for approval.

    "The goal is to minimize the impact on participation in fishing and hunting while still being able to present a balanced budget," said Debbie Colbert, ODFW Deputy Director for Administration.

    The largest chunk ODFW is hoping for comes from $13.6 million from the state's general fund. It would include $6.5 million for items like field staff and habitat conservation and $5.1 million to pay for enforcement by the Oregon State Police.

    "We do think this is an ambitious request," Colbert said.

    The most controversial aspect of the proposal, as ever, is fee increases on fishing and hunting licenses and tags. ODFW hopes to raise $8.5 million through "fee adjustments" that would include incrementally raising the cost of a resident fishing license to $38 in 2016 and to $41 in 2018. The current fee is $33.

    A hunting license would increase from $29.50 now to $32 in 2016 and $33 in 2018. However, part of the frustration from those in attendance wasn't just the fee increase, but the addition of a $10 ocean fishing endorsement.

    "Now there is a fee to fish in the ocean, and I already have my Columbia River fee, and on top of that the cost of a license is going to increase," said Blane Ackley, a salmon angler from Hillsboro, during public testimony. "All of a sudden, that's a 75 percent increase. If you're going to increase fees by 75 percent, let's see something for it."

    Not everyone who testified was critical of the fee increases, however.

    "We think there's room for the fee increase to go even higher," Jim Myron of the Native Fish Society said. "Right now a license costs the resident angler nine cents a day, and after the increase it would be 12 cents a day, which is a huge benefit for what we receive. If the general fund (request) doesn't materialize, I urge the commission to revisit the fee rather than relying on cuts."

    To mitigate people deciding against buying licenses, the agency introduced ideas like a multi-year license and a youth combination license good for hunting, fishing and shellfish.

    The final leg in the "share-the-pain" stool of balanced budget is cuts to programs and staff totaling $6.3 million. It would mean cutting 51 positions that range from fish biologists to IT staff.
    While the mood of the meeting was collaborative many of those who spoke during public testimony had worked with ODFW on the budget there was still a sense of concern over the cuts and fee increases.
    "I wish I could be more positive," Al Elkins of the Oregon Hunters Association said. "When I sit with our members and talk about the budget, the message is disconcerting."

    Big game tags, trapping regulations set

    The Fish and Wildlife Commission set controlled big game tag numbers for 2014-16 at the meeting.

    A total of 134,312 big game (deer, elk, pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, bighorn sheep) tags will be available in the draw, the number and type proposed by ODFW staff.

    Draw results will be available by June 20 online at My Hunter Information or by calling the automated line at (800) 708-1782. This year for the first time, ODFW will not be mailing postcard notifications of draw results. Hunters need to check for results themselves online or by phone.

    ODFW budget

    Strategies for making up projected shortfall in 2015-17 budget biennium.

    Alternative revenues (from state general fund)* $13.6 million

    Fee adjustment (license and tag increase) $8.5 million

    Program reductions (cuts to staff and programs) $6.3 million

    Efficiency improvement $1.5 million

    One-time revenue transfer from deferred maintenance budget $1.5 million

    Total $31.4 million

    *Includes $6.5 million for items like field staff and habitat conservation and $5.1 million to pay for enforcement by the Oregon State Police for crimes like poaching.

  • #2
    Originally posted by troutdude View Post
    "Now there is a fee to fish in the ocean, and I already have my Columbia River fee, and on top of that the cost of a license is going to increase," said Blane Ackley, a salmon angler from Hillsboro, during public testimony. "All of a sudden, that's a 75 percent increase. If you're going to increase fees by 75 percent, let's see something for it."
    [/I]

    I agree with this part. I'm perfectly okay with paying more for my licenses and endorsements as long as I can see it going to a good use. Whether that means more stockings for trout, perhaps stocking of different species in lakes such as catfish or bass, or even if its just better maintenance or monitoring for various fishing locations. Such as Willamette River, St. Louis Ponds, Trillium, and Hagg. (I see a lot of people breaking regulations at these places) Even if the license money may not be able to go to that it would be nice to see. But if its just a raise in prices and everything stays the same I will be wondering where the extra money is going.

    Comment


    • #3
      The article is from 2014. I haven't heard of an ocean endorsement....yet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh good grief. It was on KGW's web site; and looked like current news. Sorry folks. And thanks for noticing the date @ C_Run.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dcarbonari View Post


          But if its just a raise in prices and everything stays the same I will be wondering where the extra money is going.
          Here's my question. Has anyone seen any changes in services or improvements for the good since the raising of fees since 2014 for the recreational fisher peps. Has it gotten worse or stayed the same? Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            IMO it does not seem, any better. That's just my .02, and limited perspective.

            Comment


            • #7
              If anyone can tell me when a government dept reduced fees I would like to know.
              Ask yourself has fishing and hunting improved over the last 20 yrs.
              How many people would you think are being priced out and just cant afford a license.
              I have hunted and fished over the yrs in 4 different states and honestly I have had my license checked 3 times in over 40 yrs. never do I see anyone except the fish checkers at the ramps.
              The times I was checked was the coast guard a federal wildlife agent and a sheriff never once by a state officer but maybe I'm just lucky.
              I will always buy a license and proper tags but the price for myself and the wife is really getting up there and its hard to imagine how many people with a much lower income will really buy a license.

              Comment


              • #8
                Great points 4labs. The article clearly states that the number of people buying licenses, is going down. Which is their primary reason, for more increases. However that, is a self-defeating line of thought. IMO it's nothing short, of illogical reasoning. If they LOWER the price; MORE licenses would be purchased. Which would INCREASE, their revenue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agencies policies, measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, and cut with an axe. S.I.Hayakawa 1962 Tony

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I do not think there have been any changes to this schedule of license costs for 2016-2018-2020 that was adopted in 2015:

                    http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/bu...2020_FINAL.PDF

                    from that PDF, here is what the Resident costs are for the common fishing items:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Roger somewhere I saw some insane increase for a out of state fee maybe a 7day I cant remember where but I think it went from 50's to almost 80 without any tags ?
                      My wife made a good point thou I started to ***** about the price of license and tags and she simply said " do you realize how much fish,crab birds and meat you get with that license thank god we live in a state with those opportunity's "

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ha ha! Your missus, is most wise.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having passed a high school level class in basic economics obviously isn't a requirement to work at ODFW.

                          The governor appoints these people. The last appointee was a gill net lobbyist.

                          How anyone could vote for her is beyond me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 4labs View Post
                            Roger somewhere I saw some insane increase for a out of state fee maybe a 7day I cant remember where but I think it went from 50's to almost 80 without any tags ?
                            My wife made a good point thou I started to ***** about the price of license and tags and she simply said " do you realize how much fish,crab birds and meat you get with that license thank god we live in a state with those opportunity's "
                            here is the non-resident pricing, all the short term licenses include tags.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by troutdude View Post

                              The final leg in the "share-the-pain" stool of balanced budget is cuts to programs and staff totaling $6.3 million. It would mean cutting 51 positions that range from fish biologists to IT staff.
                              While the mood of the meeting was collaborative many of those who spoke during public testimony had worked with ODFW on the budget there was still a sense of concern over the cuts and fee increases.

                              Why do the budget cuts always seem to include getting rid of positions which, to me anyways, seem like the backbone of the ODFW? It seems like every time this is discussed there is a price increase in tags, and a bunch of biologists are out of a job. Then a year or two later ODFW is shouting about how they are under staffed and can't do the basic research/management that they are charged with because they don't have enough workers actually in the field. So they add a new "endorsement" or a new "license" to try and make up for the short fall. I wonder how many biologist positions could be payed for if a single "bureaucrat" was to be cut?

                              I am in the same boat as a lot of you. I am willing to pay more to enjoy the outdoor activities that I love. I will certainly grumble about it and talk about the days when I used to be able to do all of my hunting and fishing for under $100, and I am not even that old, but I will probably continue to pay. However I am not seeing any benefit, increased opportunity, etc. to my hard earned money being spent. Things in my neck of the woods aren't necessarily getting worse, but I know these fees go to supposedly benefit the state as a whole. All I seem to see happening with each increase is ODFW struggling more and more, and the rift between ODFW and the outdoors folk they are supposed to serve increase.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheKnigit View Post
                                All I seem to see happening with each increase is ODFW struggling more and more, and the rift between ODFW and the outdoors folk they are supposed to serve increase.
                                As we used to say...that is a "Jim Dandy" observation.

                                Comment

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