- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department says over 2,800 Hike Safe Cards have been issued in the first year of the program, bringing in more than $75,000 for the department’s search and rescue fund.

Card sales help ensure that conservation officers trained in wilderness rescue can come to a person’s aid. The card also makes the holder exempt from liability for repaying search and rescue costs due to negligence.

The cards for 2016 cost $25 for an individual or $35 for a family and are good for the calendar year ending December 31, 2016. Cards must be renewed annually.

In recent years, Fish and Game has conducted an average of 180 search and rescue missions each year. From 2006 through 2014, the department recouped more than $69,600 in rescue cost reimbursements.

In addition to Hike Safe Card revenues, Fish and Game’s Search and Rescue Fund is supported by a $1 fee collected for each boat, snowmobile and OHRV registered in New Hampshire.

Dolores Rebolledo of Stratham, who has conquered all the 4,000-footers in New England and is certified in Wilderness First Aid, says she feels she’s well prepared, but she still brings her Hike Safe card.

“I appreciate the assurance the card gives me year-round should something happen that requires rescue,” she said.

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