Phoenix, AZ – If you're planning to visit Arizona state lands, it's going to cost you a lot more money -- unless you're a hunter. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.
State lawmakers took $3.1 million fron the Land Department to
balance the budget. They also told the agency to make up $600,000
of that with higher fees. The charge for an individual who wants
to go hiking, ride horses, picnic, watch birds, taken pictures or
camp on any of the 8 million acres of state trust lands used to
be $15. Now its $50. But here's the thing: Anyone with a state
hunting license doesn't need a permit. And that license costs
just $32.25, meaning it costs less to hunt than to hike. But Rory
Aikens, publicist for the state Game and Fish Department, said
it's not that simple.
(That hunting license in your pocket, purse or what have you is
not necessarily an e-ride ticket to the state trust lands. It
Aikens said you actually have to be hunting. But you don't have
to be good at it. He said just shooting off a gun at something
(Fire it around. Then you're legal. And then you've met actually
the intent of the laws.)
Those who don't buy a permit and aren't hunting could end up
paying more, with fines starting at $300.
For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.