Department of Natural Resources charges new fees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Department of Natural Resources charges new fees

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - State budget woes could saddle shooters, hikers, and paddlers with new fees for using Georgia wildlife management areas.

The Department of Natural Resources new commissioner says his agency has to consider charging new fees to people who use services like the Captain Michael Commander shooting range.

The agency may also stop leasing up to 25,000 acres of existing wildlife management areas for hunting.

"Currently hunters to access a wildlife management only pay a $19 fee for the year. That provides them access to here in Southwest Georgia about 60,000 acres of public land," Julie Robbins, Georgia Department of Natural Resource Wildlife Biologist said.

The DNR's wildlife resources budget has been cut 42 percent since 2008 with more cuts expected this year.

DNR officials plan to host forums in April to get public opinion.

The agency's Board will make recommendations in May.

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