Nov 15, 2015 11:25 AM

Sale of Hike Safe cards helping NH Fish and Game reduce its deficit for rescue costs

NH1.com

CONCORD — The sale of Hike Safe cards has raised $75,000 for the state Fish and Game Department's search and rescue fund.

According to the Union Leader, 2,825 Hike Safe cards have been sold so far this year, raising more revenue than agency leaders had expected from the fledgling program.

Col. Kevin Jordan, chief of law enforcement for the agency, said the money will help offset the search and rescue fund's annual deficit, which averages about $180,000.

Hikers who purchase the cards protect themselves from being considered liable for rescue costs if they need to be rescued due to negligence on their part, while engaging in any outdoor activity.

Individuals pay $25 for the card and families pay $35. Hunters, fishermen, boaters and OHRV users already pay a license or registration fee that gives them the same coverage.

Jordan said he's glad to have the extra revenue from the Hike Safe cards. But he said his agency will continue to push for a more permanent solution to its annual funding shortfall.

Between 2008 and 2014, Fish and Game conducted a total of 1,023 search and rescue missions at a total cost of $2.1 million. Approximately 60 percent of those involved hikers and climbers, he said.

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