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Conserving, protecting, and restoring Southwest Idaho's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.








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IDFG Fee Increase

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The Board of Directors  29-Jan-09  


Subject: IDFG Fee Increase
From: The Board of Directors
Email:
Date: 29-Jan-09

January 29, 2009

Idaho State Legislature Capital Annex P.O. Box 83720 Boise, Idaho 83720

Open letter to Idaho Senate and House Resource Committee members;

This brief letter details support of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's proposed fee increase by the Trout Unlimited Ted Trueblood Chapter. We are a diverse, local conservation group dedicated to the preservation of cold water fish habitat and promoting conservation and education of families and youth across southwest Idaho. The Ted Trueblood board of directors (representing over 700 members in eight counties) voted in January 2009 for unanimous support of the IDFG fee increase.

Our chapter enthusiastically supports the proposed fee increase for several reasons. For one, the Department has made an excellent case showing the need for an increase due to increased operating costs (fuel, capital outlay, etc.) if the fish and wildlife programs we all benefit from are to continue. Moreover, a majority of the fee increase would come from nonresident license and tag revenues, therefore having less impact to Idaho's family anglers.

Secondly, the Department remains a strong and cooperative partner for our conservation and education projects. Our recent and ongoing efforts throughout the Boise River system would not have been possible without the technical expertise and on-site assistance of IDFG fisheries biologists. Likewise, our Trout In the Classroom project (whereby school students from 37 southwest Idaho schools raise trout from eggs and release the juvenile fish in local streams) has met with strong IDFG support, both in terms of staff time, educational materials and other resources.

Third, recent IDFG policy changes have resulted in more hatchery fish stockings of triploid (sterile) trout thereby having a much less adverse affect on our limited wild trout fisheries. These fish not only grow faster, but also provide more fishing opportunities to kids and families in our local waters.

Legislators must realize that eighty-percent of the proposed fee increase is needed just to maintain current fishing and hunting programs that benefit all sportsmen who set out in pursuit of Idaho's highly valued fish and wildlife resources. As you know, the economic return to Idaho's small towns is manifold as evidenced by recent economic reports pertaining to the true value of healthy fish and game populations.

Like most Idaho outdoor groups the Trueblood chapter recognizes the social and economic importance of maintaining and, in some cases, expanding opportunities and access to Idaho's wildlife resources and we feel very strongly that having a well funded IDFG is paramount to achieving those ends. In fact, having these precious wildlife resources remains the principle reason many of us live in this great state.

Please consider my comments as part of the public record supporting the Fish and Game's much needed and deserved fee increase.

Respectfully,

Chris Topmiller Ted Trueblood Chapter President


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