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Funding the NH Fish and Game Department

Fish and Game Funding Update: The state budget (HB 1 and HB 2) passed the House and Senate and is now law.


The current budget includes $600,000 per year in General Funds, a total of $1.2 million to be transferred to the Fish and Game Fund for Fiscal Years 16-17. This is less than the Department received in General Funds during FY 14-15, but, together with anticipated increases in license fee revenue, will keep the Department operational during the FY 16-17 biennium.



Separate legislation (HB 212) was passed and adopted, giving the Fish and Game Executive Director and the NH Fish and Game Commission authority to set hunting and fishing license and permit fees. Learn more about the 2016 license fee increases.


To recap, the FY 16-17 budget for Fish and Game relies on a small amount of State General Funds and additional revenue from license fee increases to make up Fish and Game's shortfall. Basic hunting and fishing license fees have not been raised since 2003.



BirdwatchingPrecedent: In 2013, the Legislature provided General Funding in the budget to keep the Fish and Game Department whole during the FY 14-15 biennium. Fish and Game received State General Funds in the amount of $699,000 for FY 14 and $893,000 for FY 15.


A Legislative Commission to Study Opportunities and Options to Improve the Sustainability of the Fish and Game Department recommended that the Fish and Game Commission be granted authority to set and adjust license fees. It also recommended that some support for Fish and Game come from the General Fund or another revenue source.



All Citizens Benefit from Fish and Game Services


A strong commitment is needed from the public and the Legislature to keep the state's fish and wildlife agency strong and effective. The Department has made a big difference for New Hampshire's wildlife and wild places over the past 150 years. The inclusion of a small amount of General Funds in the Fish and Game budget - approximately 2% - is an important avenue through which the broader public that benefits from the Department's services can contribute to its operation. Fish and Game has a broad mandate to conserve wildlife and wild places and provide many other services for all New Hampshire citizens. Thanks for your support.


Sustaining Fish and Wildlife Management


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department uses revenue from fishing and hunting license fees, federal funds and other sources to accomplish its broad mission of conserving, managing and protecting the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats; informing and educating the public; and providing opportunities for people to use and appreciate these resources.


Fish and Game’s budget sustains the full range of habitat and fish and wildlife management tasks, plus conservation education, law enforcement, search and rescue, assessing the impact of development projects on wildlife, and more. All of these functions are essential to ensure that the Department can effectively serve the wildlife and people of New Hampshire.