Just three months after downgrading its annual revenue estimate by $1 million, at a time the agency’s revenues were $1,1262,210 less than expected, Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department has rebounded nicely.
It now looks like the revenue adjustments the agency made, along with a decision to continue to leave many staff positions vacant, will allow the agency to end the year in the black. It’s not the rosiest of situations, but it is a lot better than things looked just a few months ago.
I recently received DIF&W’s monthly financial report prepared by Gilbert Bilodeau, Deputy Director of the Natural Resources Service Center. This report covers the year-to-date fiscal year from July 1, 2011 to May 30, 2012.
In that period, DIF&W generated $18,532,092 in revenue, compared to the budgeted revenue of $18,485,473. During the same period in the previous fiscal year, the department generated $18,017,368.
The only remaining negative revenue line is snowmobile registrations, which look like they’ll end up about $120,000 less than predicted, another indication of what a disastrous snowmobiling season we had.
Some of the lines that helped right the sinking ship were boat registrations, up $173,623 so far this fiscal year, hunting license sales, up $97,583, and fishing license sales, up $180,990.
The department also enjoyed significantly increased interest in the moose lottery, taking in a stunning $330,867 more than anticipated – demonstrating that the changes in the lottery enacted by the legislature gave the lottery a real boost.
The Warden Service did their part with an increase in fines of $45,403. Even the agency’s sales of tee shirts and other items exceeded estimates by $7,881.
I’ll get the department’s year-end fiscal report from Mr. Bilodeau in mid-August, and will let you know how things ended up. At that time, I also hope to take a look at actual license sales, not just revenue, to see what we can learn about the level of interest among residents and nonresidents in hunting and fishing in Maine.