The clock is ticking, and we must work closely with the Legislature and remain open to pursuing various options for keeping the Department self-funded.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department faces a major funding shortfall. Without legislative action, the Fish and Game Fund will be depleted by the end of FY 2015, and the Fish and Game Department will not be able to adequately fulfill its responsibilities going forward.
- Everyone Benefits from Fish and Game; Let's Work Together on a Funding Solution - Statement by Executive Director Glenn Normandeau (12/20/2013)
Current Status: In 2013, the Legislature provided stopgap funding in the budget to keep the Fish and Game Department whole for the current biennium, which ends on June 30, 2015. Budget bills were passed that made some funds more accessible to the Department in a variety of ways, including making a one-time transfer from the State General Fund to the Fish and Game Fund of $699,000 for FY 14 and $893,000 for FY 15.
The Legislature also established a Legislative Commission tasked with finding future funding solutions for the Department. This Commission includes members of the House and Senate, the Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau, Fish and Game Commission Chair Tom Hubert, and three members of the public appointed by Governor Hassan. This Commission reported its initial findings on November 1, 2013. The work of the Commission will continue when it reconvenes in 2014.
- Click here to read the November 1, 2013, report of the Commission to Study Opportunities and Options to Improve the Sustainability of the Fish and Game Department
The Bottom Line
As the Legislative Commission works to find new ways to raise revenue for Fish and Game, many ideas are being considered. We don't yet know what the answer is, but we do know that the financial situation for the Fish and Game Department is serious.
A strong commitment is needed from the public and the Legislature to work together to identify a solution and pass the necessary legislation to keep the state's fish and wildlife agency self-funded.