Decline in hunters is bad news for conservation

A cow and calf at the Caribou Wildlife  Management Area.
A cow and calf at the Caribou Wildlife Management Area.
Richard Smith

Money for conservation is on the decline with the decline of active hunters and anglers, who are some of the most ardent conservationists out there.

A bulk of licensing fees go to conservation efforts such as fisheries, wildlife, conservation officers and clean water, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They also pay for the upkeep of public land infrastructure. Earlier this year, Governor Mark Dayton called on the Legislature to provide $130 million to the DNR to improve on that infrastructure.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey, there's been a significant decrease in young people taking up the sport of hunting. How can a sport stay viable if young people lose interest? And, is there another way to fill the gap in funding?

Two guests joined host Kerri Miller to discuss this dilemma. Meadow Kouffeld-Hansen is a conservationist, hunter and faculty member at Itasca Community College. Paul Telander is the chief of the Wildlife section of the Fish and Wildlife division of the DNR.

Listen to the discussion using the audio player above.

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