Game and Fish Commission is Considering Fee Increases

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The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is scheduled to finalize the rule-making process for proposed fee increases on most hunting and fishing licenses, tags, stamp and permits during the Saturday, Feb. 11 portion of its two-day meeting in Yuma.

The Game and Fish Commission is meeting at the Shilo Inn, 1550 S. Castle Dome Avenue, Yuma, on Feb. 10-11 starting at 8 a.m. both days.

The department is still accepting written comments on proposed fee increases until Feb. 6. Comments can be submitted by sending an e-mail to rulemaking@azgfd.gov. Public comments received will be provided to the commission for consideration during its Feb. 11 meeting. Although the department originally planned to present final rulemaking in March, the department notified the public earlier this year that it will instead present final rule changes in February.

If approved by the commission, the increases would not become law until the department obtains final approval from the Governor's Regulatory Review Council. If approved, the increased fees would become effective for 2007 licenses and tags.

The proposed changes include:

* Increased fees for resident and nonresident big game hunt permit-tags, adoption of Class J and K family hunting and fishing licenses, and adoption of the Class L, M, and N super conservation hunting and fishing licenses.

* An equal increase for resident and nonresident guide licenses.

* A new class of reduced-price junior hunt permit-tags for elk, deer, javelina and turkey at an equal cost for resident and nonresident youth.

* Elimination of the proposed Class A premium hunt permit-tags for deer and elk.

Examples of the new pricing structure include a general resident fishing license going from $18 to $23.50, a resident elk tag increasing from $78 to $114, a resident deer tag going from $19.50 to $34.75, a resident combination hunt and fish license increasing from $44 to $54, and a youth combination hunt and fish license going from $25.50 to $26.50.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department sought the increases through the rulemaking process after the Arizona Legislature approved higher fee caps last year. The new fees were sought to help the department meet increasing operating expenses and to address program priorities.

If you have questions or would like a copy of the changes, you can visit the department's Web site at azgfd.gov or contact Carlos Ramirez, the department's rule writer, at (602) 789-3288 or at rulemaking@azgfd.gov.