An audit of the Utah Division of Wildlife noted that license, permit and other fees collected by the Division funds 90% of their budget and that 10% of the budget comes out the general fund. The auditor suggested fees should be raised in order to reduce the burden to the general fund. Evidently, outside of some boater inspection fees, the auditor feels that only hunters and fisherman should bear the costs of funding the Division of Wildlife. Utah’s wildlife isn’t being managed for the sole benefit of hunters and fisherman. It is managed for the benefit of all the people of Utah, and this work includes mitigating the damage and nuisances caused by the people’s wildlife.
In fact, hunters are utilized as a tool by the Division in the direct management of wildlife populations to help assure the health of the herds and to reduce the potential damages and nuisances caused by such. This is a free labor pool to the Division. Imagine what the costs would be to manage the wildlife if hunters were taken out of the equation. Yet, the auditor feels hunters and fisherman aren’t doing enough.
All people that benefit from the work of the Wildlife Division should pay into funding the Division. Since these are the peoples' animals being managed for the benefit of the people, having a measly 10% of the Division’s budget coming from the general fund doesn’t seem unreasonable. Expecting hunters and fisherman to fund the entire budget does.