DNREC Considers Fee Increases, Required Passes for Wildlife Area - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DNREC Considers Fee Increases, Required Passes for Wildlife Areas

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(Photo: DNREC) (Photo: DNREC)

DOVER, Del.- The days of biking or hiking through Delaware's state wildlife areas at no cost might be coming to an end.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish and Wildlife is considering a required conservation access pass, similar to what is already required to enter a state park.

Director David Saveikis said an annual pass would cost $20 for Delaware residents and $30 for non-residents. The revenue from the passes would help to ensure the continuity of wildlife program operations and services, he added.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife is also considering a fee increase for hunting and trapping licenses. One option is raising the annual Delaware resident hunting license fee from $25 to $39.50 and the annual state waterfowl stamp from $9 to $15.

“Hunting and trapping license fee revenues have decreased in the past decade while our wildlife program operating costs have increased, resulting in having to reduce various program operations and services to operate within our budget,” Saveikis said. “The potential fee increases would allow us to avoid further service reductions and to restore and enhance our services while providing added value to the public.” 

Delaware’s last hunting license fee increase came in 2007. According to DNREC, every dollar of state revenue from hunting licenses brings in an additional $3 of federal funds to the state to support a variety of wildlife management and hunter access services.  

Prior to the division's next meeting on the subject, there will be a series of public workshops, one per county. They are as follows:

  • Sussex County –  7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Delaware Technical Community College, Jack F. Owens Campus, William A. Carter Partnership Center Lecture Hall, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown, DE 19947
  • Kent County – 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 at Kent County Administrative Complex, 555 South Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901
  • New Castle County – 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14 at Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720 

The Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish will consider the potential increases at its meeting on Jan. 26. However, all proposed fee increases require approval of the Delaware General Assembly before becoming effective. 

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