A new bill being filed by New Hampshire State Representative Gene Chandler, a Republican, could require hikers in the state to pay for their rescues—even if they didn’t do anything wrong.
Under current law, only hikers whose rescue was required due to reckless behavior are required to pay. Money for other rescues comes from fees such as hunting and fishing licenses.
However, rescue isn’t cheap and the state is struggling to cover the cost. Each year, New Hampshire spends about $300,000 on the service, according to Kevin Jordan, assistant chief of New Hampshire Fish and Game.
Under the new bill, hikers who require rescue would have to pay a fee between $350-$1,000.
There are a few exclusions built into the proposal. The fee would be waived if a hiker had purchased an $18 Hiker Safety Card (good for one year), had a current New Hampshire hunting or fishing license, or a New Hampshire-registered snowmobile, ATV or boat.