'Hike Safe' card would provide rescue revenues
The bill begins to address the issue of how to pay for hiker rescues that has plagued the state Fish and Game Department for years as well as lawmakers who have tried but failed to address the problem.
But budget writers have been reluctant to use state general fund money to pay for the rescues and instead have proposed other methods to no avail.
The state can charge hikers for the cost of the rescue, but most do not pay the bill.
In the past, rescues could involve the National Guard helicopters because they are called training missions. But now the National Guard charges for the use of helicopters and that greatly increases the cost of rescues.
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