Hunting and fishing license fees provide the bulk of MNR’s budget | News, Sports, Jobs

According to the Michigan Wildlife Council, the day before the deer season opened, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released data showing an increase in the number of hunting licenses purchased by visitors to the Michigan. out of state until October 31. Out-of-state visitors also purchased about 201,835 fishing licenses during the same period. Purchases of non-resident hunting licenses rose to 21,723, an increase of nearly 4%, from the 20,895 non-resident hunting licenses purchased through October 31, 2021.

The Michigan Wildlife Council was created to educate about the importance of wildlife conservation, according to the DNR website, and the role of hunters and anglers in preserving Michigan’s great outdoor heritage for generations. future.

The increase in license purchases is significant, the statement said, because Michigan’s management of the state’s wildlife and other natural resources depends on it.

The DNR funding website indicates that the largest source of state revenue for the DNR is the Game and Fish Protection Fund, which supports approximately 20% of the DNR’s overall budget. The main source of income for the fund comes from hunting and fishing license fees. The fund supports statewide hunting and fishing programs and the enforcement of hunting and fishing laws.

The Wildlife Council statement goes on to say that in 2021, licenses purchased by anglers and hunters generated more than $65.5 million for the Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund. The fund is the DNR’s largest source of revenue – not state taxes – and is essential to its conservation work. Sales of hunting and fishing equipment raised an additional $32 million to support wildlife and natural resource management.

Since out-of-state or non-resident hunters pay more than 10 times more than Michigan residents, depending on the license, the increase is significant.

Nick Buggia, president of the Michigan Wildlife Council, said license sales are the biggest funder of conservation efforts in Michigan.

“Whether they come from cities, towns or villages in Michigan or other states”, said Buggia, “We are grateful for all the benefits we get when hunters and anglers continue to support conservation by visiting the woods and waterways of the Great Lakes State.”

The statement said that overall, the 2022 data reflects decades-long concerns about hunting and fishing license sales: sales figures have continued to decline gradually by around 1% to 3% per year since 1996 – with a few exceptions like 2020, when there was an upsurge generally attributed to the extra time people had during the pandemic, said Dustin Isenhoff, acting director of the public outreach and engagement unit of the DNR.

The most consistent exception to the overall decline has been non-resident hunting sales, which have increased steadily over the past five years.

“We maintain the line, the general trend being a slight decline or general stability in hunting and fishing licenses”, said Isenhoff. “We continue to study trends to find opportunities for growth.”

The Game and Fish Protection Fund also receives money from the Game and Fish Protection Trust Fund, which collects royalties from oil, gas and mineral extraction or timber sales on land acquired by Game and Fish. . The Game and Fish Protection Fund receives $6 million per year, plus interest and income that the Game and Fish Protection Trust Fund generates in one year.

The Wildlife Council says hunting and fishing in Michigan also brings in $11.2 billion annually, through supplies of fishing gear, hunting supplies, lodging, and food purchases. The council states that an additional 171,000 jobs are supported by hunting and fishing.

Revenue from license fees contributes to wildlife habitat improvement, disease prevention, and species restoration efforts, carried out by dedicated professionals and volunteers, all funded primarily by revenue from hunting licenses and fishing.

But while the DNR receives appropriations from the general fund for a variety of purposes, including law enforcement, invasive species prevention and control, protection against forest fires and wildlife disease, revenue from the general funds represent only 11% of DNR funding.

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