Every purchase supports NH Fish and Game search and rescue efforts.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is authorized to sell voluntary Hike Safe Cards for $25 per person and $35 per family. People who obtain the cards are not liable to repay rescue costs if they need to be rescued due to negligence on their part. The card is valuable for anyone hiking, paddling, cross country skiing or engaging in other outdoor recreation. An individual may still be liable for response expenses if they are deemed to have recklessly or to have intentionally created a situation requiring an emergency response.
Purchase at the N.H. Fish and Game Department in Concord (directions)
People who possess a current New Hampshire Fish and Game hunting or fishing license, or a current registration for an off-highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile or boat, are already exempt from repaying rescue costs due to negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is there a physical card that I can put in my wallet?
No. The information can be printed out by the consumer at the time of purchase or may be downloaded as a pdf on a smart phone.
How long is the card good for?
The card covers the calendar year from the date and time of purchase through December 31.
Is the card only for hikers?
This card is not just for hikers! The card offers the same exemption from liability for rescue costs for people engaging in outdoor activities from canoeing and kayaking to cross country skiing, rock climbing, orienteering and trail running.
Are there some situations in which hike safe card holders could still be charged for a search and rescue mission?
Yes. A person may be liable for response expenses, if they recklessly or intentionally create a situation requiring an emergency response.
What is the difference between when someone is deemed to have acted negligently or recklessly?
A person acts negligently when he or she acts in such a way that deviates from the way a reasonable person would act under similar circumstances.
A person acts recklessly when he or she engages in highly unreasonable conduct, involving an extreme departure from ordinary care, in a situation where a high degree of danger is apparent.
Does the full cost of the card go to the Search and Rescue Fund?
Yes. Revenues from sales of the voluntary hike safe card will go into the Search and Rescue Fund, with the exception of the transaction fee (currently $3) that goes to the vendor of the automated issuance system to cover the cost of processing the information.
Is there any other instance where I would be covered in the same way as if I bought the hike safe card?
Yes. If a person has a current New Hampshire hunting or fishing license, current Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle or snowmobile registration, or current boat registration, they receive the same coverage.
What is considered a "family" for hike safe card purchases?
For purposes of purchasing a family Hike Safe Card, families include the hike safe cardholder, his or her spouse, and his or her minor children and minor stepchildren as of the date of purchase.
How much revenue is the card expected to generate annually?
Hike safe card sales brought in more than $75,000 to the Search and Rescue Fund in 2015, the first year they were available. "People seem to appreciate having a way to contribute to our Search and Rescue readiness, at the same time they get the peace of mind that if an incident occurs, reimbursement costs are covered,” said Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan.
How many search and rescue missions does Fish and Game conduct in an average year?
Why is there a deficit in the Search and Rescue fund?
The Search and Rescue fund is supported by a $1.00 fee collected for each boat, snowmobile and OHRV registered in New Hampshire. That typically brings in about $180,000 a year. Annual Search and Rescue expenditures (typically about $350,000) have exceed revenues by more than $200,000 in recent years. Sales of Hike Safe Cards are helping to offset this deficit.
Will the hike safe card fees resolve Fish and Game’s broader funding troubles?
The card is a step in the right direction, because it creates a means for the broader public that relies on Fish and Game services to help pay for those services, but it is not a cure-all. The deficit in the Search and Rescue Fund has contributed to Fish and Game' larger funding dilemma. Learn more about Fish and Game’s funding situation at wildnh.com/funding.