The Arizona Game and Fish Department this week will continue to host a series of meetings statewide to seek the public’s input in developing a new hunting and fishing license structure and fees, as authorized by the recent passage of Senate Bill 1223.
This week’s meetings will be held beginning at 6 p.m. (except Sierra Vista) on the following dates:
- Tuesday, May 28, Globe, Besh Ba Gowah Museum, 1324 S. Jesse Hayes Road.
- Tuesday, May 28, Lake Havasu City, Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center, 100 Park Ave.
- Tuesday, May 28, Sierra Vista, (will start following the 6 p.m. hunt guidelines meeting), Sierra Vista Police Department, 911 N. Coronado Drive.
- Wednesday, May 29, Payson, Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road.
- Wednesday, May 29, Safford, Graham County General Services Building, 921 Thatcher Blvd.
- Wednesday, May 29, Wickenburg, Wickenburg Community Center, 160 N. Valentine St.
- Thursday, May 30, Eagar, Eagar Town Council Chambers, 22 W. 2nd St.
- Thursday, May 30, Prescott, Yavapai County Building, 1015 Fair St.
Department staff will present a conceptual license structure and fees and encourage discussion and input on a variety of concepts. For example, what do you think an elk tag should cost? Would you prefer your hunting or fishing license to be valid for one year from the date of purchase, as opposed to just the current calendar year? Would you be willing to pay more for a fishing license if it included more privileges at a discount over purchasing those privileges separately? How do you feel about the concept of offering some premium deer hunts at a higher fee? Should there be a significantly discounted price for a youth license?
It’s important to keep in mind that the license structure and fee concepts that will be shown at the meetings are just concepts, and not recommendations at this point. They are meant to serve as a starting point for discussion. The department wants to know what constituents think and what input they might have.
Meetings have already been held in Pinetop, Phoenix, Mesa, Tucson, Flagstaff, Yuma, Kingman and Page. One additional meeting will be held after this week, on June 6 in Ajo.
For those who can’t attend one of the meetings, the webcast of the Phoenix meeting, along with a PDF copy of the powerpoint presentation and handout, is available at www.azgfd.gov/licensesimplification. Comment can be submitted via e-mail at LicenseSimplification@azgfd.gov or via U.S. mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, License Simplification Comment, Attn: Ben Alteneder, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.
SB 1223 allows the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to set future hunting and fishing license structure and fees directly through a streamlined, customer-focused process. It gives the Game and Fish Department the ability to operate more like a business and react to changing market conditions and customer needs in a timely manner. The bill was signed by Gov. Brewer on May 7 and is supported by 24 sportsmen’s organizations.
The meetings and solicitation of comments during this time period are the first phase of the public input process. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission will review the comments and take them into consideration in creating a draft license structure and fees in June. The draft structure/fees will then be presented to the public for a second round of comment in June-July. The commission will review and take into consideration that second round of comments before approving a final license structure and fees, anticipated in August. The goal is to have a new structure and fees implemented by Jan. 1, 2014.
For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/licensesimplification.