Daily Archives: December 10, 2012

Discount Kansas State Parks Passport to Debut in 2013

Discount Kansas State Parks Passport to Debut in 2013

Passport available to residents registering their vehicles

TOPEKAKS – Kansans who enjoy visiting the state parks can count on at least two annual rituals – renewing their vehicle registrations and buying their annual park permits.  Currently, these tasks must be completed on separate occasions, at different buildings or online locations, and using separate transactions.  That’s about to change, thanks to a partnership between the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR).    

Beginning in 2013, Kansas motor vehicle owners will be able to buy an annual park vehicle permit as part of their vehicle registration process.  The permit – called a Kansas State Parks Passport – will cost $15.00 (county treasurers can elect to add a $0.50 service fee).  This lower-price, non-transferable permit will be available only during the vehicle registration process at a motor vehicle registration office, through the online vehicle registration site (www.kswebtags.org), or when registering by mail.  The Kansas State Parks Passport will expire when the vehicle registration expires a year later.

During 2013, persons who would like to purchase an annual park permit before they register their vehicles can do so at any KDWPT office,Kansas license vendor or through the KDWPT website, (www.ksoutdoors.com/License-Permits), and then request a pro-rated refund for the difference in cost.  Refund forms will be available from KDWPT state park offices or through the KDWPT website at ksoutdoors.com.  Only Kansas State Park Passports purchased between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013 will be eligible for refund.    

Kansas residents (except seniors and persons with disabilities) and owners of vehicles not registered in Kansas who buy their park vehicle permits at a KDWPT office or vendor will have to pay the regular price for annual and daily permits.  The regular annual park vehicle permit will cost $25.00, and the daily vehicle permit fee will be $5.00, including processing fees.       

To save even more starting in 2013, residents 65 years of age or older or persons with disabilities who display a special license plate or placard issued pursuant to state law can buy a park vehicle permit directly from a KDWPT office or vendor.  Including processing fees, the cost will be $13.75 for annual vehicle park permits or $3.25 for regular daily permits.  These lower-priced permits will not be available as part of the vehicle registration process.       


KDWPT pushed for the new passport in the 2012 legislative session.  Kansas state parks receive modest funding from the state general fund but the amount has dwindled in recent years, resulting in significant challenges for park operations and maintenance. 

Robin Jennison, KDWPT Secretary, explained that the agency is striving to be less reliant on state general funds.  “The new annual permit will provide a lower cost way for families and young people to visit our state parks.  It also will help expand our customer base, and provide a more reliable, consistent revenue stream to stabilize the funding pool so we can more effectively operate our state parks.  We deeply appreciate the help of the Department of Revenue to make this happen.” he said. 

Linda Craghead, Assistant Secretary for Parks and Tourism, added, “The Kansas State Parks Passport will make it more convenient and affordable for Kansans to enjoy our 25 state parks.  It will be a great way for families to reconnect with nature and each other, and help preserve the parks for future generations.  Families can enjoy a whole year of adventure and outdoor activities for less than the cost of treating the family to a night at the movies.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to offer this customer service feature which will make it easier for all Kansans to visit our state parks,” said KDOR Vehicles Director Donna Shelite.  

Information about the new Kansas State Parks Passport will be included in the registration renewal notice sent to vehicle owners each year.


Ron Kaufman
Director of Information Services/CIO
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200

TopekaKS  66612785-296-2870

New Hunting/Fishing License Required for 2013

Hunting and fishing license exemption age changed to 75

Beginning January 1, 2013, Kansas resident hunters and anglers age 65-74 will be required to purchase hunting and fishing licenses. Before this law changed, residents 65 and older were exempt from fishing and hunting license requirements. However, hunters and anglers 65 and older are our fastest growing age group, and changes were necessary to ensure federal aid is not lost and to avoid future budget shortfalls.

Legislation that abolished the exemption provides bargain licenses for seniors. In fact, the best bargain is theSenior Lifetime Pass, a hunting/fishing combination license good for the rest of the holder’s life that will cost $42.50, including vendor and issuance fees. Residents 65 and older can also opt for an annual fishing or hunting license at half the regular price, $11.50, or an annual hunting/fishing combination license for $20.50. Residents 75 and older are still exempt.

The new senior licenses, along with all the 2013 licenses and permits will go on sale Dec. 14, and they are valid for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2013. They can be purchased at more than 600 vendors across the state or online atwww.ksoutdoors.com.

Feds May Target Sportsman’s Funding to Pay Down Deficit

By Jim Shepherd

The Outdoor Wire

An email from a reader at a state wildlife agencies asked if I had seen the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “sequesterable and exempt budgetary resources” report regarding the Sequestration Transparency Act, part of a deal worked out last year to end the ongoing debt-ceiling crisis.

I hadn’t. There’s no possible way for anyone to be read-in on everything distributed from DC. But I got a copy of the report – and I didn’t like what I found.

No one else who spends dollars taxed (voluntarily) under either the Pittman-Robertson or Dingell-Johnson acts will, either. The reason? Sequestration is a fancy word for simply taking funds from existing programs under the guise of reducing the federal deficit.

Under the Budget Control Act of 201, the OMB is required to enact a plan (The Sequestration Transparency Act) to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars should the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fail to propose-and Congress enact- a deficit reduction plan.

As we know, there’s no budget agreement – and none on the horizon. So…sequestration is the mandated next step.

Basically, the government takes (sequesters) a portion of allocated funds – supposedly across the board – to reduce the deficit. As described by the OMB, “Sequestration is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument.” It is also described as “not the responsible way for our Nation to achieve deficit reduction.”

It’s a pre-action casualty list for mandated funding cuts. It is the nuclear option for deficit reduction. There’s no way to plan for the sort of cuts described in the report.

Federal aid for wildlife restoration, state wildlife grants, the Sport Fishing Restoration Fund and the National Park Service will all be cut- significantly. The National Park Service alone stands to lose more than $183 million in operating funds.

To get some perspective on the looming prospect, I reached out to Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for their sense of what sequestration might actually mean.

Neither painted a pretty picture.

“Basically,” says Crane, “OMB’s sequestering proposal is a raid on the Fish and Wildlife Trust.”

And, Crane pointed out, the “raid” comes in the year we celebrate the seventy-fifty anniversary of the fund that has been instrumental in protecting America‘s wildlife and wild places. That’s not a pretty picture. The AFWA’s Ron Regan didn’t do anything to lighten the mood.

“We’re looking at big cuts,” he said, “and the Trust doesn’t seem to be a legitimate candidate for sequestration.” As he pointed out, this “trust” is essentially a bond not to use collected funds for anything other than their intended purpose.

Both Crane and Regan say meetings are underway to look at all possible “remedies”. Generally, “remedy” means one of two things: legal action to force a halt to the proposed action, or legislative action to change the sequestration rules. Legal action isn’t always a good option, but legislative actions, especially when they involve money, don’t happen overnight.

Whatever the various outdoor organizations decide as their best course of action, we’d better all start paying attention- and let our elected officials in Washington know we’re not going to sit still while the Fish and Wildlife Trust gets the same treatment as the Social Security Trust fund.

Our contributions are voluntary, but our voicing our dissent is mandatory.

Phoning or Texting the Location of a Deer to Another Hunter is Illegal

Law doesn’t allow hunters to radio or phone the location of game animals

            You see a big buck moving in the direction of your buddy’s deer stand. You want him to be ready, so you grab your cell phone and without thinking you send him a text: “Big buck coming your way!” Unfortunately, you’ve just broken the law.

The law has been on the books for years, and many hunters are aware that two-way radios can’t be used to give the location of a game animal for the purpose of taking such animal. However, the law prohibits the use of “a radio or other mechanical device,” which includes cell phones. And a text is the same as a call. Don’t do it.

Other common violations that can be easily avoided include wearing the required amount of hunter orange, which is a vest with 100 square inches visible from the front and 100 square inches visible from the back and an orange hat. Remember to sign, date and affix your carcass tag to the deer before you move it from the site of the kill. And always have the proper permit and your hunting license on your person while hunting.