Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Game & Fish Trolling For License Fee Jump.(Final)(Editorial)

EDITORIALS

Before Gov. Bill Richardson signs on to a proposal by the Game and Fish Department to raise the fees on hunting and fishing licenses, he should first find out what, if anything, the department has done to cut costs and improve efficiency.

That would go a long way toward convincing hunters and anglers -- and state legislators -- that an increase is justified.

With the state's lakes bottoming out -- and in some cases devastating the fish population -- anglers could decide higher-priced licenses aren't worth it.

And raising hunting fees is likely to result in fewer applications and increased poaching.

Department officials -- noting that license fees haven't been raised since 1996 -- say the purchase of Eagle Nest Lake, repairing its dam and renovation of hatcheries has strained the department's $29 million budget. …

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