Elk NetworkSportsmen and Women Generate Nearly $1 Billion in Conservation Funding

Conservation | March 26, 2020

As maintained by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, hunters once again show Hunting Is Conservation.

America’s sportsmen and sportswomen generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes in 2019 that support state conservation programs. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the disbursement of these funds, generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel to all 50 states and U.S. territories by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“Our conservation model is funded and supported by America’s hunters, shooters, anglers and boaters. These dedicated outdoor enthusiasts generated nearly a billion dollars this year alone and make our country’s conservation legacy possible,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

To date, the USFWS distributed more than $22.9 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects. The recipient state wildlife agencies matched these funds with approximately $7.6 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

“The American public owes a debt of gratitude to our nation’s outdoor sportsmen and women for protecting America’s wildlife and natural resources for generations to come,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor. “This decades-old program is the gold standard in helping states provide support for our fish, wildlife and natural resources legacy and the recreational opportunities it offers.”

“These grants are the epitome of the great things that can happen when industry, hunters and anglers, and state and federal governments work together,” said USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith. “As the administrator of these grants, the Fish and Wildlife Service is the linchpin in the circle of funding that arcs from the hunters and anglers generating these dollars as consumers, through the states as conservation managers, and back to hunters, anglers, and recreational users as beneficiaries, for improved hunting, fishing and conservation opportunities. It is a role we are honored to play.”

Authorized by Congress through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, these funds support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program, which the USFWS administers, has long been considered the foundation of fish and wildlife conservation in the United States.

In a related announcement, the USFWS is awarding $6.4 million in grants through its Competitive State Wildlife Grant (C-SWG) program. The funds help conserve and protect Species of Greatest Conservation Need and this year will be distributed to nine state fish and wildlife agencies. Several projects involve additional state fish and wildlife agencies working in partnership with these nine states.

Go here for additional information including the amount of funding paid out to each state and U.S. territory.

(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)