WHEREAS, in 2000, the Louisiana Legislature approved a package of hunting, fishing and boating fee increases to raise operating funds for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) that included dramatic increases in nonresident hunting and fishing license fees, and
WHEREAS, one of the predictable reactions to the increases in nonresident fees has been the reciprocation by other states which, in effect, has increased the cost to Louisiana hunters who hunt in those states, and
WHEREAS, this “battle of the license fees” has caused antagonism and resentment between neighboring states which is counterproductive to developing and maintaining the cooperative relationships among conservationists and natural resource management agencies necessary to best serve the shared interest in preserving the ecosystems and fish, wildlife, and other natural resources of the region, and
WHEREAS, nonresident hunting and fishing license fees should not be so high as to discourage participation in those activities by nonresidents who contribute to the Louisiana economy with the dollars they spend in the state, but neither should the LDWF have to bear the burden of lost income in an effort to stimulate the tourist economy through lower nonresident fees, and
WHEREAS, “Louisiana: Vision 2020”, the State’s master plan for economic development particularly recognized the importance capitalizing on “our abundant fishing resources” in enhancing tourism in the state, and
WHEREAS, the delegates to the 56th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1995 adopted a resolution resolving that I ‘LWF supports the establishment of reasonable nonresident recreational fishing license fees that, based on sound market research, promote the greatest positive economic impact to the state from nonresident angler activity, balanced against the needs of reasonable fee collection, and further, that any reduction in revenues to the LDWF from adjustment of nonresident license fees be matched by appropriation to the Department from the state general fund”, and
WHEREAS, the recent nonresident fee controversy makes the wisdom of the nonresident fee policy for recreational fishing that LWF proposed in 1995 even more compelling, and
WHEREAS, LDWF is proposing legislation to establish a daily nonresident fishing privilege as an alternative to the current 3-day trip license that will reduce the cost to nonresident anglers, which is a step toward what LWF recommended in 1995, and again last year, as an alternative to what was ultimately adopted.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports the establishment of a daily nonresident fishing privilege, at a reasonable fee, and further urges that a review of nonresident hunting and fishing license fees be made in the context of tourism development and LDWF’s funding needs.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 62nd Annual Meeting, March 4, 2001 in Many, Louisiana.