Game and Fish Sets Dates for Public Input on Fee Increases
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission in December approved a proposal that would increase fees for most hunting and fishing licenses, tags, stamps and permits for use in 2007. The Arizona Game and Fish Department sought the increases through the rulemaking process after the Arizona Legislature approved higher fee caps last year. The department has now set the dates for public input on the proposal, which will not become law until the department obtains final approval from the commission and the Governor's Regulatory Review Council.
If approved, the new fees would help the department to meet increasing operating expenses and to address program priorities. 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 department is also proposing rule changes to address the separate issue of hunter harassment. The proposed changes would allow the Game and Fish director to take preemptive law enforcement measures to prevent hunter harassment.
The department will accept written comments on both of these proposals from Jan. 6 to Feb. 6. Comments can be submitted by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The department will also accept oral comments at the Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10 and 11 at the Shilo Inn at 1550 S. Castle Dome Ave. in Yuma.
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 email@example.com.