Local DNR officials will host an informational meeting Thursday, February 16, at Cabela's in Owatonna to discuss license fee increases proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Area wildlife and fisheries managers and conservation officers will conduct the meeting from 7-8:30PM. It will include a power point presentation and question and answer session. The increase would add $3 to a resident angling license. Resident deer hunters would face a $4 increase, plus another $4 for a an anterless permit in a lottery deer zone.

The last increase was in 2012, according to Dave Trauba, the Department of Natural Resources Southern Minnesota Wildlife Manager. He said license increases have occurred every five or six years since the 1970s as a result of inflation. He called the fee increase modest and said officials have received positive reaction at other information meetings like the one to be held Thursday at Cabela's.

License fees are the primary funding source for the on-the-ground habitat management of land and lakes. In the Owatonna area, Jeanine Vorland and a two-person staff oversee more than 2 million acres of public and private land. The area includes Steele, Waseca, Dodge, Freeborn, Mower and Rice counties.

Ongoing work in the Owatonna area includes rejuvenating grassland and brush land habitat and acquiring land for wildlife conservation, conducting population surveys and monitoring and managing wetlands, among other efforts.

Money raised through license fees goes into the game and fish fund and cannot go to other sources. Legislative approval of the increase will allow for expanded research on deer management, maintaining the quality of Wildlife Management Areas and protect wildlife and habitat, in addition to other efforts.

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