CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are hoping sales of a voluntary “Hike Safe” card will alleviate some of the agency’s budget woes.

The cards are on sale for calendar 2015 and cost $25 for individuals and $35 for a family.

The card indemnifies hikers from liability for any rescue costs due to negligence and is designed to help offset the agency’s search and rescue costs, which typically run around $350,000 a year.

A provision of the new law establishing the Hike Safe cards also protect those who possess a valid New Hampshire hunting or fishing license, or a current registration for an off-highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile or boat from repaying rescue costs due to negligence, without having to buy a Hike Safe card.

Proceeds from the sale of the card – minus a $3 transaction fee – go directly to the support the agency’s search and rescue activities.

State law holds those rescued liable if they acted negligently, but efforts to collect the cost of rescues are not always successful.

Avid hiker and Appalachian Mountain Club volunteer Dolores Rebolledo of Stratham, New Hampshire, was one of the first to buy a 2015 Hike Safe Card.

“As an experienced White Mountain hiker, I step on the trail prepared, but I appreciate the assurance the card gives me year-round should something happen that requires rescue,” she said. Purchasing one supports New Hampshire Fish and Game “men and women who risk their lives to rescue and recover,” she said.

The Hike Safe cards may be purchased online at http://www.wildnh.com/safe.