Republican legislative leaders are criticizing plans by the State Department of Natural Resources to increase the fees for fishing, hunting and boating licenses in Iowa. Merlin Bartz, a republican from Grafton, is the chair of the senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee.The fees would raise dramatically, with the cost of a fishing license going up 80-percent and boating licenses by nearly 90-percent. Bartz says the amount of the increase is “unconscionable”Bartz says republicans believe the fee increase is part of a plan by Governor Vilsack to move money around to pay for his clean water initiative.Bartz says the in-state fees are high enough,but he would be open to raising the fees charged for people who come to Iowa from other states to hunt and fish. There is another proposal that would let the state Natural Resources Commission set the fees. Bartz says he has some real concerns about that proposal.
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