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 we can effectively serve the wildlife and people of New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department faces a major funding shortfall. The Department is funded through the end of the current biennium (June 30, 2015), but without legislative action, Fish and Game will not be able to adequately fulfill its responsibilities going forward.
- Fish and Game Funding FAQs
- Bills of Interest to NH Fish and Game
- Funding Search and Rescue
- Pie Chart: Where the money comes from/where the money goes
- Make a Donation to the NH Fish and Game Department
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. Through the budget bill, Fish and Game received funds from the State General Fund in the amount of $699,000 for FY 14 and $893,000 for FY 15. As work proceeds on the FY 16-17 budget, a similar transfer, or revenue from another source, will be needed to allow the Department to fulfill its obligations as trustee of the state's wildlife.
The Legislature established a Legislative Commission to Study Opportunities and Options to Improve the Sustainability of the Fish and Game Department, tasked with finding future funding solutions for the Department. The Commission made an initial report in 2013, reconvened in 2014, and issued a final report in November of 2014. The Legislative Sustainability Commission recommended that the Fish and Game Commission be granted authority to set and adjust license fees. They also recommended that some support for Fish and Game come from the General Fund or another revenue source.
- Read the report of the 2014 Legislative Sustainability Commission
- Read the report of the 2013 Legislative Sustainability Commission
The Bottom Line
Legislation is pending that would give authority to the Department and the Fish and Game Commissioners to set and adjust license fees. A transfer from the State General Fund or another revenue source is also needed, and makes sense because all citizens benefit from Fish and Game Department services. Meanwhile, Fish and Game is continuing efforts to actively recruit and retain hunters and anglers, who support Department activities with their license fees.
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 strong and effective.