CHEYENNE – A bill that would raise hunting and fishing fees to support the Wyoming Game and Fish Department failed in committee this morning.
House Bill 136 failed in the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee. Of nine members, only Rep. John Freeman, D-Green River, voted in favor of it.
Members were concerned that hunting and fishing license fees were becoming so expensive that the activities would become a “rich man’s sport.”
The bulk of Game and Fish’s budget comes from the fees. Executive Director Scott Talbott said that the money would fund ongoing operations and not be used for new programs or employees.
With a future of no new money, Talbott said he’ll have to apply for grants to raise money for his department. The new money would have kicked in next year.
He’ll look at other efficiencies. He said it’s too soon to determine whether he’ll have to make program or staff cuts.
Check back later for more on this developing story.