(KMAland) -- Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials are curious what the public thinks of proposed increases to hunting and fishing licenses.
The DNR is considering the implementation of a $3 rate increase to resident hunting and fishing licenses, bringing the cost to $20 per license. The fee increase would not include the vendor or convenience fee that is added to the transaction.
Mick Klemesrud with the DNR says the rate hike proposal comes after action from the Iowa Legislature during the 2018 session.
"In the 2018 session we had a bill introduced, passed, and signed by the Governor (Reynolds) that shifted the responsibility for managing the hunting and fishing license fees from the legislature over to the department of natural resources, with oversight from the Natural Resource Commission and the Administrative Rules Committee," Klemesrud said. "That is a bipartisan committee of legislators."
Prior to the approved bill, the Iowa Legislature had controlled the setting of hunting and fishing license fees until this year. Klemesrud says if the proposed increased is approved, the new fee schedule would be effective when 2019 licenses go on sale December 15th.
"We haven't had a fee increase in quite some time," he said. "Some of our fees, like deer licenses, haven't seen an increase since 1991. Typically, fees would be adjusted every five to six years. However, our hunting fee hasn't been adjusted since 2002, and the fishing fee hasn't been adjusted since 2004."
Revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses is deposited into the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, which receives no tax payer money from the state general fund, and is used to promote and improve areas to hunt and fish in Iowa.
Klemesrud says the DNR is currently accepting comments from the public on the issue, which can be submitted through August 21st.
"We are asking Iowans to tell us what they think about it," Klemesrud said. "All of these comments will be compiled and used in the process to create the rule. Good, bad or other, we want to hear from everybody. Nobody likes to pay more for anything, but I think people will be reasonable in that it's been 14 or 16 years, and it's probably about time to adjust a little bit."
People can submit their comments to email@example.com.
The Iowa DNR has also scheduled six listening sessions from noon to 2 p.m. on August 21st: Wallace State Office in Des Moines, Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery in Spirit Lake, Ventura Wildlife Office in Ventura, Cold Spring District Office in Lewis, Delaware County Conservation in Manchester, and Lake Darling District Office in Brighton.