Because of economy, DNR won't increase fees - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Because of economy, DNR won't increase fees

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- A proposal by the Iowa DNR to raise hunting, fishing and trapping fees has been postponed due to the current economic conditions.

"The proposal to raise fees was very difficult for us and the decision now to postpone the request is equally as hard. Because of the continued severity of the economic downturn, we felt that now was not a good time to be raising fees," said DNR Director Richard Leopold.

License fees go directly into the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund. The Iowa Constitution only allows those funds to be used for fish and wildlife programs.

The last increase for resident hunting and fishing licenses occurred seven years ago. Inflation during that time has sharply reduced the amount of funding available for fish and wildlife programs.

Leopold said adjusting license fees will be re-visited when the state's economic picture improves.

A series of public meetings to discuss the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund and proposed license increase in February and early March will also be postponed. Leopold said the DNR is looking at holding similar meetings next summer.

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