Restoration Programs Generate Over $1 Billion

By Colleen Hartel

Elk
Image Credit: Tony and Ann Hough, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will distribute $1.1 billion to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the hunting and fishing industry through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Programs set excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, which are then used to fund wildlife restoration programs in each U.S. state and territory. Since the programs’ beginnings, the restoration programs have distributed more than $15 billion, with state agencies matching another $5 billion from state hunting and fishing license revenues.

State and territory grants range from $1.2 million for the District of Columbia to $54.9 million for Texas.

“These funds are the cornerstone of state-based efforts that are critical to the preservation of America’s wildlife and natural resources,” said Director Dan Ashe in a Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

“Their value cannot be overstated in providing opportunities for the next generation of Americans to get outdoors, experience our wild places and learn the importance of conserving our natural heritage,” Ashe continued.

While the funds are generated from hunting and angling activities, lands purchased and managed from Pittman-Robertson funds are also managed for other recreational opportunities, such as hiking and bird watching.

The Wildlife Society has released a Policy Brief detailing how the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act enables the conservation and management of both game and non-game species.

Sources: E&E News PM (April 28, 2015), Fish and Wildlife Service Press Release (April 28, 2015)

Colleen Hartel is a policy intern at The Wildlife Society as part of the Government Affairs & Partnership program.

Read more of Colleen's articles.