Inflation could hit Utah hunting and fishing licenses next

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is proposing to increase the cost of fishing and hunting licenses and permits in an effort to keep up with rising inflation. The fee increase would be applied to both residents and non-residents of Utah, and would increase the costs of permits and licenses by roughly 10%.

“The license and permit fees are the primary source of funding for the labor, fuel, materials, goods and services we need to help us manage the state’s fish and wildlife,” DWR Administrative Section Chief Kenny Johnson said. “In recent years, costs for all those essentials have increased substantially. We also did an analysis to compare hunting and fishing licenses and permits with other Western states, and this proposed fee increase will make our prices more comparable.”

The DWR is currently 92% self-funded, and license and permit fees cover the costs of daily operations. The DWR receives limited funding from the state, and that money is appropriated for specific issues (These issues include managing aquatic invasive species and preventing species from becoming endangered).

The proposed fee increase for both residents and non-residents will be a roughly 10% increase and would include the following changes:

  • Core resident licenses and permits — such as 365-day fishing, hunting and combination licenses as well as general-season deer and elk permits — would increase by $6. Extensions and multi-year permits would remain $1 less. (For example: A resident combination license (currently $38) would increase to $44, with an extension or multi-year license available for $43.)

  • Some fees were considered individually for a market adjustment that would either bring the DWR in line with surrounding states or right-size a fee — based on equity — for the type of permit. (For example, swan and sandhill crane permits would be aligned in price with the similar turkey permit. Likewise, fees for CWMU deer and elk permits would be right-sized to the appropriate limited-entry fee.)

  • Most other license and permit fees would fall within the 10%-increase threshold.

Licenses for youth and disabled veterans would not increase under the new proposed changes. If passed, these changes would go into effect on July 1, 2023.

Proposed fee changes are first presented to regional advisory councils and the Utah wildlife board. If approved by both the council and board, the proposed changes will then go to the Utah Legislature and Governor, who can approve, reject or modify the proposal. Then the approved fees are included in the annual appropriation bill and voted on by all state legislators.

The public meetings for the recommendations can either be viewed virtually or attended in person. You can view the biologists’ presentations before the meetings and share your feedback about them on the DWR website. The presentations are also available on the DWR YouTube channel, but comments can only be submitted through the forms on the DWR website.

Meetings about the proposed increase will be held in various locations:

  • Central Utah RAC meeting: July 26 at 6 p.m. in the Wildlife Resources Conference Room (DWR Springville Office) at 1115 N. Main St. in Springville. (Online comments must be submitted by July 21 at 11:59 p.m.)

  • Northern Utah RAC meeting: July 27 at 6 p.m. at the Weber County Commission Chambers at 2380 Washington Blvd. #240 in Ogden. (Online comments must be submitted by July 21 at 11:59 p.m.)

  • Southern Utah RAC meeting: Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the DNR Cedar City Complex at 646 N. Main St. in Cedar City. (Online comments must be submitted by July 28 at 11:59 p.m.)

  • Southeastern Utah RAC meeting: Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the John Wesley Powell Museum at 1765 E. Main St. in Green River. (Online comments must be submitted by July 28 at 11:59 p.m.)

  • Northeastern Utah RAC meeting: Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wildlife Resources Conference Room (DWR Vernal Office) at 318 N. Vernal Ave. (Online comments must be submitted by July 28 at 11:59 p.m.)

  • Utah Wildlife Board meeting: Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center at 1157 South Waterfowl Way in Farmington. (Online comments must be submitted by Aug. 18 at 11:59 p.m.)

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