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Louisiana’s Sportsman’s Paradise offers hunting and angling opportunities that make our state the envy of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. It’s through your license fees, that these opportunities are available for future generations. LDWF has not increased its license fees since 2000, with the exception of a minimal saltwater license fee hike in 2015 to bolster recreational fishing data collection. Inflation and other expenses are straining our ability to maintain our Sportsman’s Paradise.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is unique among state agencies in that it does not receive state funding. Self-generated funds, statutory dedicated funds, interagency transfers and federal funds maintain the department.
Even so, since 2009, the state has taken more than $65 million from statutory dedicated funds from LDWF to help cover the state deficits. That is funding the agency will never recoup.
Inflation, the cost of collecting much-needed scientific data, and the huge cost of emergency response such as the recent flooding in Louisiana is taking a toll on the LDWF budget. LDWF is at a point where funding will not be adequate to sustain current operations in the near future. Mineral revenue is well below its historic average and license revenue has not kept up with inflation.