NDA, QDMA Submit Letters of Support for Rhode Island Proposed License Fee Increases

September 9, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) and the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) recently submitted letters of support to Rhode Island lawmakers for the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife’s proposed increases to the fees associated with many wildlife licenses and permits. These proposed increases will generate additional revenue for the Division of Fish and Wildlife and provide matching funds for federal funding. 

We applaud the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s leadership on drafting a budget proposal that will provide additional state match for federal funding, increasing the Division’s ability to conserve and manage fish and wildlife and carry out projects that benefit the outdoor community. The Division’s proposal more closely aligns license and permit fees with surrounding states, and the proposal minimizes impact to hunters and anglers by employing a three-stage, eight-year incremental approach for fee increases.

Undoubtedly, sporting license sales and excise taxes on Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Programs are the pillars of the American System of Conservation Funding. This user pays, public benefits model has allowed the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation to become recognized as the most successful conservation framework in the world. Most state fish and wildlife agencies receive approximately 80% of their funding through this unique conservation funding system, and Rhode Island is no exception. Hunters and anglers in the state purchase nearly 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps, and tags each year, and the revenue generated by these purchases are leveraged to match federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program dollars that support outdoor recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, and boating in Rhode Island.

Our organizations support the Division’s thoughtful proposal. Rhode Island’s hunters, anglers and wildlife will all benefit greatly from the resulting increased revenue for years to come.