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April 25, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Should Struggling DNRs Hike License Fees?

From Michigan’s Daily Press & Argus:

The state Department of Natural Resources is facing a budget deficit. . . .

What to do about that?

Well, according to a whole bunch of people in Lansing, the answer is to increase the price of hunting and fishing licenses. And not just by a little, but to double and triple them.

Under the fee structure [proposal], the price of a firearm or archery deer license would double from $15 to $30 for Michigan residents during the next four years. A 24-hour all-species fishing license for state residents would rise from $7 to $15 while an annual all-species fishing license would increase from $28 to $40. A 24-hour fishing license for senior citizens would jump from $3 to $9 in 2013. . . .

DNR Director Rebecca Humphries explains it this way: "As general fund support for the department has been reduced over the last several years, we have been forced to look at license fee increases so that we can continue the work we do to provide high-quality hunting and fishing experiences that hunters and anglers have come to expect in Michigan. These increases will allow the DNR to maintain its current level of service."

What do you think? Would you approve of such a hike in your state?


Kristine Shreve

Michigan is my state. While I don't disagree that the DNR needs funds, I do disagree somewhat about how to provide those funds. Why should people who hunt and fish be the only ones to bear the burden? Are they also increasing campground fees or park fees? What about charging a small fee to hike the trails in the summer or snowmobile them in the winter? It may be that some of this sort of thing is in the works, but if it is, I haven't heard about it.

Gable Sadovsky

Is it really a suprize that Michigan's DNR is in need of money? Michigans economy is dying--I dont see how increasing fees will solve anything. When I was in law school in Lansing I recieved on my state tax return over $800 just because I was a "minority" (I am white mind you) who was living in a predomenently minority neigborhood/getto. Michigan needs to restructure how they doll out tax returns, and GIVE UP ON THE DAMN AUTO PLANTS--(the UAW Killed that entire industry). Adding these additional fees to outdoorsman will only stifle what little that state has. The truth is though is that Michigan has so many problems that they dont know what to about them. My advice to MI residents is to MOVE--and to DO IT QUICKLY (as MI may put a tax on that!)

Matt Mallery


Considering the number of people from Michigan I've met here in Arizona, I would say many of your fellow residents have taken your advice.


I am a Texan--I just went to school(felt like doing time) their.


quit your complaining i live in california and i would kill for double your license fees

Walt Smith

I live in michigan, I'm a small business owner and all I can say about the economy here is that it sucks.My business is small excavation such as driveways, lot clearing, fill dirt, brush removal etc. and it is very hard to get work here because everyone bids jobs so low that if you do get it you basicly wind up breaking even. Everyone wants work done but no one wants to pay for it and that is mostly whats wrong with our economy. As for higher license fees,this dosen't surprise me with the cost of everything going up here. If you compare our license fees with other states michigan's are probably lower than most states,so a increase in fees is not really out of line. I'm wondering why the DNR wouldn"t think of imposing a$10.00 license for hunting on state land that seems like it would be a fair fee and as a hunter of state ground I would have no problem with paying a access fee if the state keeps it low for residents and high for out of staters. this would be fair for everyone and is the same as the permit to ride on state snowmobile trails. common sense is a hard thing to teach policy makers though.


They are already that expensive here in texas. Come on $30 is less than 2 boxes of rifle shells.


These hikes don't seem exorbitant or exclusionary. It's important that we keep our DNRs viable; if we are the ones paying their checks, they will continue to put our interests first. That could change if we start asking hikers and bikers and birdwatchers to pay. So suck it up and shell it out.


Come on, just because California fees are higher doesn't make it right to raise them. Californians do alot of things that us in Michigan wouldn't dream of doing.(I give you the Governator.) Anyway, with the cost of everything else being up it's already hard to find the money to hunt and fish. I have to work overtime to pay for it and that just cuts into my time afield. I agree with a consevation stamp, or public land fee but not doubling every license. Am I going to get double the enjoyment or am I just paying to get harrassed more often by officers looking to write tickets to generate more funds? Get a clue Governor Granholm everybody is leaving the state, give us a reason to stay. Vote republican in 2008!!

paul Wilke

Toyota is the number ONE automaker in the world!
It didn't get to that position by charging more. It manufactures quality and markets the fact.
Fund widlife managment from state funds, and advertise the results' hunters will come! Revenues will rise! Michigan will become known as a hunters paradise, problem solved1


I don't understand what all you Michigan folks are gripeing about? Those fee increases are right in line with my hunting and fishing license fees are in my state. I'm not sure what you would have the state DNR of Michigan do in order to maintain the level of service you currently are receiving? To double or triple fees might be a tad much. But, instead of caterwauling about it, what are your solutions? Forget about the general revenue or taxes. It is a death knell for either political party to suggest. Democrat or Republican.

I love the comments about having a hard time trying to find money to pay the present fees and having to work overtime? Are you sure there isn't some frivolous areas in your budget that you couldn't cut in order to pay for the increased fees? I know that I would try my damnest to. With all the natural resources you are blessed with in Michigan, you should reconsider making negative comments!


Well Paul, obviously you haven't even been to the state of MI. otherwise you might have noticed all the empty factory buildings our incompetent Governor ran out of the state, maybe I could cut on spending, newborns don't need to eat everyday right? I work in public service, paycheck to paycheck. But what about all the people out of work, where should they cut money from? And how about our Seniors, they can skip on their heart medication, they deserve respect for their lives of hard work not higher prices. If the DNR needs money why don't we stop giving grants to the "cool city's" of Michigan, or maybe stop letting prison guards making $25hr get overtime (that's 37.50hr). Or maybe we could pass the cost on to non-residents like all the other states. Paul get a clue, maybe you live with your licenses prices, but I for one am not going to let it happen without raising a stink about it.


You have made a number of assumptions in your posting, all are WRONG!

1. I have been to the state of Michigan. More than once, and not in the same year, years apart. You are blessed beyond belief! Would you like some cheese with that whine?

2. Your assumption that your govenor is incompetent. She has been in that postion less than 6 months, and you have come to that conculsion? HMMM. Your slant is showing through! Or your a chauvinist. Either way it is an assumption plain and simple.

3. That the most pressing budget concern is hunting and fishing licenses for poor people. How about the price of gasoline? A needed commodity. Can we say big oil and "W"? If your concerns are feeding your newborn or heart medication. Maybe you have underlying concerns of a larger magnitude, besides going hunting or fishing?

Maybe the loudest complainers are the ones that could solve their license fee "crisis" with one less 12 pack of beer and one less bar visit,or trip to the casino?

I would hedge my bets that the truely poor people of Michigan are NOT the one's doing the most complaining. Just a thought?

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