"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive." -TJ
As an analogy, people can be issued summonses and fined for many types of reckless behavior, whether or not damage to property, public or private, occurs. Examples include jaywalking, motor vehicle operation, breaking firearms / hunting laws (such as shooting across a road). People are also held civilly liable if their negligent / reckless actions result in another another party incurring costs as a result of their actions, whether or not there is physical damage to tangible property.
From the standpoint of fining someone under a regulation, S&R is a bit different, but so is the required response, unless we are willing to simply wait to apprehend the offender when, and more realistically, IF they return alive.
As a society, we have chosen a policy that we will generally not allow people to die even if they are fools. From a civil recovery standpoint, it is the negligence / recklessness of the person that constitutes proximate cause for the S&R costs, so why shouldn't they be liable? The deciding judgement factor is whether or not it is an accident or is a foreseeable result of negligence / recklessness.
As I said earlier, I think these laws (there are other states in this as well) need to be examined, but I can't say I'm against the idea of fines or civil recovery when idiotic people's reckless and / or negligent behavior runs up the bill for everyone else.