Hunters and anglers have a long tradition of voluntarily paying for conservation. Our hunting and fishing license fees are used to pay for the work needed to keep wildlife and habitats healthy, and our predecessors created the Pittman/Robertson and Dingell/Johnson taxes that send a portion of the sales of most outdoor equipment to conservation agencies.
In order to make sure we continue to have good wildlife populations and places to hunt, every few years we should pay a little more for our licenses. This year, our legislature is considering an increase to the Conservation Stamp. It’s a hefty increase, but it’s worth it.
House Bill 122 would increase the price of the Conservation Stamp from $12.50 to $21. Every person who hunts or fishes needs one, so this represents a pretty sizeable jump in the cost to get out in the wilds. But it’s what that extra money will be used for that makes this a good deal.
The bill would also create a fund to be used for projects that create or sustain access for hunters and anglers. Nine dollars of every stamp would go to this fund, and 85% of the account would be dedicated to providing hunting and fishing access. The other 15% would be for administration of that access and for wildlife crossings on our roads and highways.
It’ll mean having to spend $8.50 more each year for a Conservation Stamp, but keep in mind you can still get a lifetime stamp. I’d do that now, before the price goes up. But even if you don’t, and you keep buying a stamp every year, you’ll get much more than $8.50 worth of access to excellent hunting and fishing spots.