JUNEAU – Today the House passed House Bill 120, which adds a new non-resident student hunting, fishing, and trapping license. This legislation allows non-resident students enrolled in classes full or half-time to purchase a license at resident cost, without changing any regulations or the cost of tags.

According to research, hunting, and fishing have declined since the 1960s, resulting in a decline in conservation funding. The Pittman-Robertson Act, Dingell-Johnson Act, Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, and other federal statutes tie conservation funding to excise taxes on items such as ammunition, firearms, archery, and fishing equipment. The taxes are then distributed to states’ fish and game departments for conservation and management efforts. Alaska matches the funding by utilizing revenue from hunting and fishing licenses.

Representative Frank Tomaszewski (R-Fairbanks), sponsor of the bill, emphasized the importance of encouraging younger generations to participate in hunting, fishing, and trapping to preserve Alaska’s way of life and conservation efforts. He stated, “The direct correlation between our hunters and our conservation ability cannot be overlooked. It is critical that we encourage younger generations to participate in these wonderful outdoor activities.”

Lowering the license cost for non-resident students may encourage them to participate in these activities, especially since many students are already burdened with college expenses. By providing them with easier access to hunting, fishing, and trapping, we can help preserve Alaska’s unique culture and way of life while also supporting conservation efforts.

The Alaska House Majority believes that this legislation is a crucial step in promoting and preserving our hunting, fishing, and trapping culture. By supporting this bill, we are encouraging younger generations to participate in these activities and help conserve Alaska’s beautiful wildlife and natural resources.