Gov. Andrew Mario Cuomo wants to reduce hunting and fishing fees and eliminate confusion in the licensing process, according a recent news release.
The proposal is part of the 30-day amendments to the 2013-14 Executive Budget and would reduce fees paid by hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers and trappers while maintaining support for the state’s fish and wildlife programs, the release says.
Cuomo wants to reduce the number of licenses offered and lower many fees for both resident and non-resident holder.
His proposal would make permanent a free marine fishing registration, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013.
“I know the recreational and economic value hunting and fishing bring to New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “The sporting community bolsters tourism across the state. According to a national survey, more than $8.1 billion of economic activity is created as a result of sporting activity in New York. Under my proposal, it will be easier for more New Yorkers and visitors from across the country to take advantage of New York’s rich sporting tradition.”
He said current license process is confusing due to the number, type and potential combinations of hunting and fishing licenses. In addition, fees are presently higher in New York than in many neighboring and comparable states. The proposal would:
· Reduce the number of licenses available while maintaining all current hunting and fishing privileges and opportunities
· Reduce the price of a hunting license by 24 percent from $29 to $22
· Reduce the price of a fishing license by nearly 14 percent from $29 to $25
· Make fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase
· Create a non-resident license structure which is the same as the resident license structure
· Fold trapping privileges into the hunting license for no additional fee for certified trappers
· Maintain Junior Trapper and Trapper Mentor opportunities
· Reduce fees for non-resident hunting and fishing licenses to attract more out-of-state participants
· Retain discounted licenses for youth, seniors, military disabled and Native Americans.
Previously, a fishing license was only valid from the date of purchase through the end of the season, and anglers who bought a license in mid season did not get a full year’s worth of use. Under the new plan, anglers will get a full year of fishing no matter when they purchase the license.
The proposal also consolidates both small-game and big-game license privileges into a single hunting license and creates a non-resident license structure which affords the same license privileges as resident licenses.
The proposal also makes the marine fishing registration permanent. It was scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31, 2013, which would have required anglers fishing in the marine district to purchase a license for $10. Under Governor Cuomo's bill, marine fishing will continue to be free.