A new advisory council tasked with simplifying the structure of the state’s hunting and fishing licenses is set to meet in Helena, Aug 13-14.

The Fish & Wildlife Licensing and Funding Advisory Council will examine about 100 different types of Montana hunting and fishing licenses and the impacts of special earmarked accounts and free and discounted licenses on fish and wildlife management funding. Additionally, the effort will include discussions on how to best fund fish and wildlife management in Montana for the long term.

The call for such a review came from both the Montana Legislature and Governor Steve Bullock. The Legislature passed House Bill 609, which requires the Montana Environmental Quality Council to conduct a study of hunting and fishing license statutes and fees, while Gov. Bullock requested that Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Jeff Hagener begin a public effort to create FWP’s budget for consideration by the 2015 Legislature.

“We’re pleased to have a representative mix of hunters and anglers on the advisory council who are committed to work to reach consensus on a number of complex license and funding issues,” Hagener said.

The first meeting is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Aug. 13, and continue through 4 p.m. on Aug. 14 at FWP Headquarters, 1420 E. Sixth Ave., in Helena.  The council will meet monthly through March 15, 2014.

Fish & Wildlife Licensing and Funding Advisory Council members include Mark Aagenes, Missoula; Tim Aldrich, Missoula; Ed Beall, Helena; Robin Cunningham, Gallatin Gateway; Bob Gilbert, Sidney; Edward Hammer, Billings; Arthur Hayes III, Birney; James Olson, Hamilton; Debby Perry, Brady; Brett Todd, Big Timber; FWP Commissioner Dan Vermillion, Livingston; State Senator Kendall Van Dyk, Billings; and State Representative Jeff Wellborn, Dillon.

The meeting is open to the public. Public comment is specifically scheduled for Aug. 14 at noon.

For additional information visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Licensing and Funding Advisory Council“.

Logo courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

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