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SALT LAKE CITY — As of May 1, Idaho hunters, anglers and trappers will find a new fee tagged on to their license purchases. The additional fee is a $5 access/depredation fee for resident adults and $10 for nonresident adults when they buy their first annual license.
“Residents haven’t seen an increase in fees for about 12 years,” said Mike Demick, conservation information supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “The new fee will help with our increases in cost over the years.”
The fee will pay for land access and depredation prevention as well as help cover costs to farmers and ranchers if big game damages their operations.
Officials from Fish and Game said they recognize that maintaining animal herds means a responsibility to mitigate the herd's effects to farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihoods. Animals can do significant damage to crops, haystacks and other agricultural commodities, officials explained.
“The new fee is expected to raise $1 million annually for sportsmen’s access and another $1 million annually for depredation prevention and damage compensation,” said Roger Phillips, public information specialist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a press release.
The fee will also be applied to other annual licenses with a $2 fee charged for junior, senior, veterans with disabilities and military furlough licenses. A $4 fee will be charged to nonresident junior and veterans with disabilities licenses.
Officials said anyone who bought an annual 2017 hunting, fishing or trapping license before May 1 is exempt from the new fee for this year. Those who buy a 3-year license will only be charged for two years of the fee.
The new fee is in addition to “price lock,” which takes effect when 2018 licenses go on sale in December. Under “price lock,” anyone who buys any resident annual license is exempt from the 20-percent fee increase for 2018 licenses and permits. Officials say that all license buyers must still pay the access/depredation fee annually.
“The new fee can only be used for certain things,” Demick said. “There are lots of conflicts with land owners and the fee will help provide better control to big game.”
The increase was passed by the Idaho State Legislation.
Becky Robinette Wright is a KSL.com contributor and a freelance writer sharing stories from the world through her love of news and feature writing. Follow her on Twitter: @NewsgirlBecky