LWF Supports Proposed LDWF License Restructure Plan

UPDATE (6/10/21):
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ fee restructure bill (HB 691 by Rep. Bacala) was hotly debated in its passage through committees on both sides. Some minor changes were made along the way but overall it will stabilize the funding stream for LDWF. The Department provided an update on its Facebook page. Thanks for taking action to support this bill.

 

(April 30, 2021)

On Monday, April 21, 2021, Representative Tony Bacala introduced House Bill 691 (HB 691), a hunting and fishing license fee restructure that also includes changes to commercial licenses, which would result in increased funding for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and a more simplified structure for users.

Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports the proposed restructuring of recreational and commercial licenses and fees.

The decline in mineral revenue combined with stagnant revenue from fees that have not been increased for more than 20 years leaves the Department in a projected deficit that needs to be addressed with more than a one-time injection of funds. Federation members depend on a Department able to manage and conserve our resources and are among those who purchase licenses for recreational or commercial use. Simply put, we need a securely funded agency able to manage what we value.

The Department is funded by user generated fees and has not requested revenue from the State’s general funding in decades. Since 2009, more than $65 million from statutory dedicated funds from the Department’s funding have been used to balance the state’s budget and that is not likely to be returned. Inflation also contributes to increased expenses and the Department is crucial to emergency response in natural disasters, enforcement of laws protecting our resources, collecting scientific data, and managing our natural resources and recreational areas.

Proposed adjustments to the hunting and fishing license structure and the commercial license structure puts Louisiana more in line with other states in the southeast. Simplifying the structure would help both management and users. Some of the modest license changes proposed help with identifying more hunters and anglers through purchase of licenses and this can secure federal matching funds that generate more money than the actual license fees being charged.

Looking at most of the proposed recreational licenses, the cost for a license for one year is likely less than the cost of gas for just one trip to a favorite hunting or fishing spot. Yet it is an important contribution each user makes to conserving our natural resources now and for the future.

You can help support this effort by taking action today to let your representatives know you support LDWF’s license restructure plan, too!

3 thoughts on “LWF Supports Proposed LDWF License Restructure Plan”

  1. Daphine Laprarie

    There is absolutely no reason to register paddlecraft. That is far reaching at it’s best.
    Families/individuals that enjoy such activities should not be made to pay anything and paddlecraft needs to be removed from this bill. It’s ridiculous. What next??? The shoes we wear while paddling? The types of paddles we use? Believe it or not, there are people that cannot afford boats, and all the expense that goes along with that. Paddlecrafts are an affordable option to enjoy the great outdoors, and need to be removed from this bill. I am disappointed at the men that carelessly went along with this addition. You should keep it simple and easy for citizens to get out on the water. But no, lets ‘tax’ them to death… call it registration… it’s still tax… revenue. Shameful.

    1. Rebecca Triche

      Hi Daphine, a primary intent is to benefit owners and users of these crafts. For example, if a kayak or nonmotorized boat is found someone can check back with registered owner to see if it was lost or stolen so it could be returned to the owner. Another example, if a craft is found abandoned and floating, can find out more quickly whether someone needs search and rescue. Users of resources need to contribute something to upkeep, enforcement, management of our resources and recreation. This idea has been debated once before and you can expect it will continue to be looked at. Thanks for commenting. Rebecca

  2. Lawrence Fischer

    I would support this Bill691 if there was a provision that all monies collected would go to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and enforcement. And said monies could not be raided by any other state entity. But we know that is not going to happen.

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