Proposed bill would raise hunting, fishing license fees

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Hunters and other lovers of the great outdoors could start paying more for certain licenses if a proposed bill becomes law.

It's called the Parks And Wildlife Measures To Increase Revenue bill. It's part of an effort to increase the funding for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. They say they've been in a financial strain for quite some time. They've cut $40 million dollars out of their budget since 2009, but the bill would have the chance to change that if it goes through.

"The cost of business has gone up dramatically and our hunting resident fees have not gone up since 2005, they're set in statute," said Mike Porras, a spokesperson for CPW.

David Combs and Greg Jouflas are big-time local fishers. They've been doing it all their lives.

"I've been fishing since I was six years old," said Combs.

"I grew up next to a river and I've been fishing as long as I can remember," said Jouflas.

They said that they'll buy an annual fishing pass in Colorado every year.
Naturally, both of the fishermen have concerns.

"Where does the money go? Will they stay on this side of the state or go over to the Eastern Slope," said Combs.

"I want to make sure whatever the increased revenue is generated by these license fee increases is actually used for hunting and fishing," said Jouflas.

Jouflas may get his wish.

CPW said the money generated will go toward hunting and fishing recruitment programs, the development of a new state park and stocking more fish in Colorado water.

Ned Meyers, the owner of Western Anglers in Grand Junction, said he understands the needs for the increase. He wants CPW to come up with innovative ways to encourage the younger generation to get out and fish and hunt. He's afraid increasing the fees will keep them away.

As for this bill, it does have bi-partisan support with two members from each party in the State House and Senate.

A similar bill was introduced last year but it failed in the Senate Finance Committee.

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