Iowa DNR director wants resident hunting fees increased

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Iowa DNR urges higher hunting fees.

By PERRY BEEMAN, Des Moines Register Staff Writer.

12/14/2001

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to raise Iowans' hunting fees in 2003.

The department also wants to trim back steep fee increases for out-of-state hunters that are to take effect in 2002. Hunting administrators also want to double the number of deer-hunting licenses offered to out-of-staters, possibly allowing bed-and-breakfast inns to offer licenses to guests.

Department Director Jeff Vonk told the Iowa Natural Resources Commission of the proposals Thursday. All would take legislative approval, which has proved a tough political sell. Next year is an election year for many legislators, which may make the task even tougher.

Vonk said the Iowa Senate still has proposed fee increases under consideration from last year. He said the new proposal isn't ready yet, so he did not elaborate on amounts.

As fees stand now, Iowans will pay $11 for a fishing license beginning next year, plus $3.50 for a new habitat stamp.

Lawmakers agreed in the last legislative session to sharply increase fees for out-of-state hunters who want to shoot turkeys or deer in Iowa. Those fees are too high and should be changed, Vonk said.

Vonk said he'll ask for legislation raising the number of deer licenses available to out-of-staters to 16,000, double what it is now. The state has had special hunts in some areas because of high deer populations.


Other action
DISEASE: The Iowa Natural Resources Commission approved a rare emergency rule change Thursday that will ban game preserves and breeders from importing deer from places where animals have had chronic wasting disease or bovine tuberculosis. Allen Farris, chief of the wildlife division, said the diseases could devastate the deer and elk populations. Importers will have to track the animals' origin and document that the area is free of disease.

CABINS: The fees for some cabin and lodge rentals in state parks will change Jan. 1. For example, rental fees at Palisades-Kepler State Park will rise $5 per week. The cabin rental fees at Green Valley, Lake Darling and Pleasant Creek will be $5 less per night and $30 less per week. Fees at Backbone and Dolliver state parks won't change.
 

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