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September 19, 2005


Online Sales of Hunting and Fishing Licenses Tops $l Million

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's online sales of licenses and permits for 2005 has topped a million dollars, a first for the Department and evidence that hunters and anglers are taking to the convenience of online purchasing.

Fish and Game pioneered e-government in New Hampshire with an innovative online licensing system launched in February 2002. In 2004, Fish and Game sold more than $800,000 in fishing and hunting licenses and permits through its website, an estimated 10 percent of total sales and nearly double its online sales for 2003.

"It's exciting to pass the million-dollar milestone, showing us that hunters and anglers appreciate the convenience of getting their licenses and permits online," said Lee E. Perry, Executive Director of N.H. Fish and Game. "Electronic sales provide better service and reduce administrative costs."

The online license sales system at www.nhfishandgame.com is fast and easy to use -- a lot like purchasing merchandise at other online stores. The system allows a customer to use a Mastercard or VISA credit card to purchase hunting, fishing and combination licenses; lottery applications; and tags for archery and species-specific hunting tags. When a customer buys a license online, he or she prints it out on a home printer and the process is complete.

The growing share of Fish and Game's license sales being transacted online puts the Department on the forefront of technology use among state agencies. While it's good news that Fish and Game is finding ways to improve efficiency and cut costs using technology, the fact remains that hunting license sales declined slightly in 2004, while New Hampshire had a small increase in fishing license sales last year. Overall license revenue, which pays for more than half the Department's budget, is not keeping pace with the costs of increasingly complex responsibilities involved in managing wildlife and habitat. Fish and Game faces a revenue shortfall that could hit home as early as July 2007.

"Everyone in the state benefits from the work of the Fish and Game Department, whether they hunt and fish or simply enjoy clean water, clean air and the enhanced quality of life associated with properly managed wildlife and habitat," said Perry. "As you may have seen in recent news stories, this Department is self-funded, and today our work can no longer be supported solely by hunters and anglers. Our duties are increasing because people care about preserving wild habitats and keeping endangered species from disappearing forever. That's why we're broadening the discussion to include everyone who cares about clean air, clean water and healthy places to live for people and wildlife. If we work together, we can come up with a solution for funding this work that benefits us all."

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.

Click here to go directly to the online purchase site for hunting and fishing licenses.

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