Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is at the expected point in time where current funding won’t sustain today’s programs and services.
Montana’s fish and wildlife management budget faces a $5.75 million shortfall.
The funding gap will be addressed by the upcoming Montana Legislature where solutions will come down to three choices—in whole or in part:
- fishing and hunting license-fee adjustments;
- further cuts to fish and wildlife management programs;
- a shift of “earmarked” funds away from specific programs.
In 2013, to find simple, fair and stable sources of revenue for fish and wildlife conservation, Governor Steve Bullock asked FWP Director Jeff Hagener to appoint an independent citizens’ group to serve on the License and Funding Advisory Council.
Following review of the council’s recommendations by a legislative oversight committee, a $3 fishing license increase and an $8 hunting license increase are being proposed.
Those adjustments would solve most of the funding problem and maintain fish and wildlife opportunities at today’s levels.