Archive for November 8th, 2005

DNR fee increase proposal

brown countyThe Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director, Kyle Hupfer, recently circulated a letter to legislators informing us of his proposal to raise “user fees,” which include everything from fishing licenses to cabin rentals at state parks. In the letter he states:

In a few weeks, I am going to present to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) a fee restructuring plan. This plan will take on a market-based approach, calling for changes in rates based on the demand for DNR’s services.

I will propose fee ranges so that the DNR and its property managers can adjust fees based on the time of year, capacity, location, and demand… We intend for there to be both increases and decreases in various fees.

The proposal will come before the Indiana Natural Resources Commission at their next meeting on November 15, 2005. The Natural Resources Commission was just recently given authority to change DNR fees as a provision of HB1001 – last year’s budget bill, which passed on a party-line vote (roll call here). The relevant code section is available here.

Hupfer intends his proposal to be a “market-based approach, calling for changes in rates based on the demand for DNR’s services.” However some of the increases are quite steep and likely to be opposed by many who hunt, fish, and use our state parks.

The DNR has had some successes in land conservation, as well as some controversies, including the recent dispute over logging on public lands. This new proposal is likely to generate discussion as well.

Please let me know if you have an opinion on the proposed DNR plan to increase fees.

1 comment November 8th, 2005


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