A spokesman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department wants people to know that a bill in the legislature to increase the cost of hunting and fishing licenses in Wyoming won't mean more money for the agency if it becomes law.

In fact, Renny MacKay says if House Bill 288 is passed the agency probably will actually be taking in slightly less money. The bill, which has passed the Wyoming House and is now pending in the state Senate, would only increase the cost of most resident licenses by a couple of dollars or so.

The big majority of the fee increases would be levied on non-resident licenses. The bill is in conjunction with a provision of the legislature's supplemental budget bill that would cut the money the agency gets from the state general fund by $5 million.

But the budget cut in the supplemental budget is contingent on lawmakers approving House Bill 288. MacKay says most projections only show the bill bringing in about $4.8 million, so the agency will likely have to find ways to cut around $200, 000 from the department budget.  Right now general fund money is used for only five department programs.

Those include sage grouse management, the aquatic invasive species program, wolf management, the veterinary services program, (which works to contain diseases such as brucellosis), and the sensitive species program.

MacKay says if the bill becomes law, the department would not receive any general fund money at all.

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