In-state hunting and fishing fees may double to make up for agency deficits

CHLOE
A bull elk rests in Colorado. (Andrew E. Russell/Flickr)

A bull elk rests in Colorado. (Andrew E. Russell/Flickr)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife hasn’t raised licensing fees for in-state hunters since 2005, though operation costs for hatcheries have almost doubled since then.

To compensate, hunting and fishing licenses for in-state Colorado hunters could double in the next two years, the Pine River Times reported.

As a result, they’ve had to implement budget cuts of about $40 million within the past five years, as well as eliminate about 50 jobs, the Journal reported. The deficit may force officials to gate state lands, close fish hatcheries and limit licenses if they can’t find a new source of revenue, according to the state.

About 66 percent of Colorado Parks and Wildlife revenue comes from the sale of licenses, the state reports. While out-of-state licenses rise with the Consumer Price Index, in-state licenses are subject to Colorado Legislature approval. In-state bull elk licenses, for example, cost $49. The same out-of-state license costs $649.

Officials will be hosting meetings across the state to survey about 3,000 hunters and fishers to gauge support for the change through its Funding the Future campaign.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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