After requests from California Waterfowl and the National Wild Turkey Federation, the California Fish and Game Commission revised a proposal that would have required a new $5 per hunt application fee for special upland game bird hunts on Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) lands. These public land hunts are currently free and do not require a fee. The revised proposal cuts the fee by over half to $2.25 per hunt application. http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2016/715regs2.pdf
California Waterfowl spoke on this issue at the Commission's August meeting in Folsom, as well as submitted a letter of opposition to the proposed $5 per hunt fee increase.
CWA believes the proposed $5 fee increase was too high for unguided, public land hunts and may create a further disincentive to participate in hunting. A $5 fee would be significantly higher than the current waterfowl hunt application fee ($1.34) for public lands. It was also unclear whether a fee increase was necessary to cover administrative costs, particularly given that upland game bird hunters already pay into the F&G Preservation Fund through their hunting license fee ($47.01), and must also purchase an upland game bird stamp ($9.46).
Surveys in other states suggest that high costs, particularly as it relates to equipment, travel and licenses, can be a barrier to hunting participation, and California already has some of the highest hunting-related fees of any state.
The revised fee proposal will be considered at the Commission's October 20th meeting in Eureka.