Hauschild Says that Minnesotans won’t Pay More for Outdoor Recreation
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL — Hermantown) this afternoon announced his opposition to fee increases as a means to protect outdoor heritage and access to Minnesota’s parks, lakes, hunting and fishing.
“Minnesotans should be able to enjoy the great outdoors without facing financial barriers, which is why I opposed any and all fee increases to DNR recreation fees this session,” said Senator Hauschild. “Folks in the Northland cherish our hunting, fishing, and parks, and we need to protect those opportunities. Public access to these natural resources is the key to preserving our outdoor heritage across Northern Minnesota. Everyone has the right to enjoy the abundance of nature the Northland provides, but fee increases would get in the way. Instead I am proud of the Senate Environment Omnibus that funds my priorities for outdoor recreation utilizing the state surplus.”
Senator Hauschild prevented the following fee increases from being included in the final Senate Environment Omnibus budget bill:
- Water Fee increases — 67% increase summer surcharge per million gallons and 300% increase surcharge per million gallons
- Fishing License Fee increases — Resident individual increase from $25 to $30; Resident couple increase from $40 to $48; Non-resident individual increase from $51 to $67
- Aquatic Invasive Species surcharge — Increase boat surcharge from $10.60 to $20
- Watercraft Fee — 78-143% increase in 3 year boat fee, depending on boat size
- Utility License Fees for Crossing Public Land & Water — $500 increase per permit
- State Parks Fee increase — Annual pass increase from $35 to $45
Senator Hauschild said he also worked with Senator Jordan Rasmusson (R – Fergus Falls) to address budget gaps related to state-owned public water access facilities and state fish hatcheries without raising fees. He said it was important to ensure that Minnesotans can enjoy the state’s natural resources without the burden of increased costs. These initiatives were included in the Senate Environment Omnibus budget bill that was voted out of committee today.