Good. Ilinois finally will go for increased fees and first time fees related to the outdoors.
Some of them are long overdue, say the increase in cost of deer permits. Some of them, such as park fees, should have been in place years ago.
Much more to come. I would have had more earlier, but I was on an all-day tour of the Chicago canals. More on that later, much later, but the fees and budget stuff is more pressing.
I'd love to hear reaction to Gov. Quinn and his budget as it relates to the outdoors and the IDNR in particular.
In an interview this evening after I came off the water, IDNR director Marc Miller made the point that the change in the last month shows a different attitude, one worthy of properly handling such increases.
Post below reactions below, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The list of proposed fees and fee increases is below:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources FY10 Fee Proposals
IDNR is committed to improving quality recreational opportunities for its constituents, not only in the coming fiscal year but in years to come. In order to secure the future of the agency and its mission, we are asking our constituents to support us through several fee increases. The agency will diligently protect the integrity of dedicated funds that support the mission of DNR and protect the supportive intent of the individuals who provide those funds, through hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and other fees. These proposed fees will allow the agency to enhance conservation opportunities, improve quality recreation and make critical hires for the agency, all of which lead to a better overall experience for outdoor enthusiasts.
State Park Parking Fee (New)
This proposal would charge all visitors (in and out-of-state) a $5.00 daily parking fee. An annual parking pass would also be available for $25.00 for in-state residents and $35.00 for out-of-state residents. This fee will allow the agency to hire additional staff at state parks, natural areas, wildlife areas and other sites as funds become available. Would require administrative rule change.
State beach User Fee (increase)
This proposal would charge a $2 per swimmer, per day, fee for Adeline Jay Geo-karis Illinois Beach State Park (IBSP). Currently IBSP does not charge to use the beach as many other state beach sites do. Revenue from this fee will be used for maintenance and beach nourishment (Sand replacement) activities. Would require administrative rule change.
Migratory Waterfowl Fee (Increase)
Increase the cost of the State Migratory Waterfowl Stamp from $10 to $15. The increase will be used specifically to improve and maintain state waterfowl areas. Currently revenue generated from Migratory Waterfowl Stamp fees do not adequately support Waterfowl operations. Requires Legislative action.
Equestrian Trail Use Fee (New)
This proposal would establish an equestrian use fee for individuals to bring horses or other equine onto department-managed properties. Equestrians using their own horses would have the option of purchasing a $5.00 day pass or a $25.00 annual pass. Equestrians currently pay no fees to use department trails. Equestrian trails, days use areas and campgrounds require an extraordinary amount of maintenance. Revenue generated from this fee will support added staff and maintenance of equestrian trails throughout the state. Requires an administrative rule change.
Deer Hunting Permit Fee (Increase)
Increase Resident Deer Hunting Permit Fee's from $15 to $25. The fee was last increased approximately 25 years ago. This fee would support an increase in Wildlife management staff. Would require legislative action and an administrative rule change.
Hunting, Fishing & Sportsman (Combo) License Fee (Increase)
This proposal would increase all resident hunting and fishing licenses by $7.00.
Resident fishing licenses would increase from $12.50 to $19.50.
A Non-resident 10-day fishing license would increase from $13 to $20 and a non-resident annual fishing license would increase from 24.50 to $31.50
The Fishing license fees were last increased over 10 years ago. Fishing License sales support fish and aquatic management throughout Illinois.
Resident hunting license fees would increase from $7.00 to $14.00. Non Resident annual hunting licenses would increase from $50 to $57. Non-resident 10-day hunting licenses would increase from $28-$35. Resident hunting licenses were last raised in 1974. Revenue generated from this fee increase will fund an increase in wildlife program staff as funds become available.
Sportsman or Combo licenses would increase from $18.50 to $25.00. (Only Illinois residents are eligible for a Sportsman license)
Would require Legislative action and an administrative rule change.
Environmental Consultation Fees (New)
Currently local units of government and private entities are required, by statue, to complete an environmental consultation review with the agency. This proposal would charge a fee of $500.00 to local governments or private entities seeking this consultation.
This fee will help cover the cost of performing these reviews-including supporting staff and the automated EcoCAT web based system that allows users to get results substantially faster. After getting the review results, cities sometimes charge developers for this information that they currently receive from free from the IDNR.
Requires legislative action.
Office of Water Resources Permit Fees (New)
Create a series of regulatory fees for DNR's Office of Water Resources ranging from $400 to $5,000 specifically for OWR permits and Lake Michigan water allocations. The proposal also creates an annual fee (TBD) for the use of the Chain O'Lakes, to be collected from boaters. These fees will fund permit and water allocation services, flood control and dam safety programs and operation of the Stratton Lock and Dam. Requires legislative action.
Public Boat Launch Use Fee (New)
This fee proposal recommends a $3 launch fee per boat, per day, for Lake Shelbyville, Rend Lake, and Carlyle Lake. An annual pass will also be developed. This launching fee is currently inline with what the Army Corps of Engineers charges to launch at its boat ramps on these reservoirs. State ramps at these lakes get extraordinarily heavy use because they remain free of charge. The same fee structure would also apply at North Point Marina on Lake Michigan for trailered boats. Requires Administrative rule change.
Point of Sale convenience charge (New)
By contract Active Network currently charges IDNR $1.09 per license sale through the point of sale system to administer the system. Currently IDNR pays Active Network this fee from the Fish & Wildlife fund. By license buyers absorbing this fee it will strengthen the Fish and Wildlife fund to better serve the agency's core mission. Requires an Administrative Rule change.