Liza Poinier (603) 271-3211
Judy Stokes (603) 271-3211
February 20, 2003
Fishing and Hunting License Purchases Support Fish and Game Programs
CONCORD, N.H. -- Planning to purchase a fishing or hunting license this year? If you do it now, says the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, you could help the agency continue to do its important wildlife work throughout the state.
"It's disappointing but true that we have a current revenue shortfall here at Fish and Game. To be fiscally responsible, we may have to make a small number of layoffs in the coming months, as has been reported by the media," says the agency's acting director, William S. Bartlett, Jr. "But it's important to remember that our funding fluctuates depending on many different factors: the weather, the time of year, the economy and so forth." Bartlett adds, "We are confident that New Hampshire's hunters and anglers will come out this year and buy their licenses early as a way of supporting our state's wildlife and habitat needs and outdoor traditions."
License sales are likely to increase later in the year, as they always do once spring fishing and hunting seasons begin. The soon-to-be-released 2003 Fishing Forecast predicts excellent spring and summer fishing throughout the state, so anglers are encouraged to start their preparations now with buying a license. It is hoped that revenues from increased sales will allow Fish and Game to avoid the proposed layoffs.
"Some folks are not aware that Fish and Game is largely self-funded," says Bartlett. "In practical terms, that means our programs are in danger during 'down' years -- and we're in one now, like everyone else." Income from license sales goes into the "Fish and Game Fund," a dedicated special revenue fund that pays for the majority (58% in 2002) of Fish and Game's activities. (The remainder of Fish and Game's operating budget comes from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program (25%), OHRV registrations (5%), the Unrefunded Gas Tax Transfer (5%) and other sources.)
As the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to:
- Conserve, manage and protect these resources and their habitats;
- Inform and educate the public about these resources;
- Provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources.
"Bottom line: Buying a license is an investment in New Hampshire's fish and wildlife and habitat," says Bartlett. "Your license purchase -- whether you use the license or not -- will help to ensure that Fish and Game's important work continues." People are also reminded to make a Super Sport donation when they buy their license. Each eight-dollar Super Sport donation is matched up to $24.00 by the Federal Government -- quadrupling the value of the donation.
Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching are not only a valued part of the local heritage, but a key component of the New Hampshire economy as well. Research from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reveals that hunters and anglers spend about $250 million in New Hampshire on hunting- and fishing-related equipment and activities -- only a small fraction of that on licenses. Add in the ripple effect of sportsmen and women buying everything from meals and lodging to bait and firearms, and it reels in a whopping $471 million a year to the state and supports more than 4,500 jobs, according to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. Wildlife watching and associated activities contribute an additional $341 million to the state's economy annually.
Fishing and hunting licenses may be purchased online; click here for licensing information and a link to our online licensing site.
- ### -