Sportmen’s Tax Nets $523 Million For Fish And Wildlife Conservation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute more than $523 million in excise taxes paid by America’s recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters, to state fish and wildlife agencies to support fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.
With the distribution, the wildlife management funding mechanisms will mark a major milestone.
Eight Midwestern states will receive a total of more than $57.5 million in Sport Fish Restoration funds, and more than $47 million in Wildlife Restoration funds.
State agencies use the money to support conservation programs such as fish and wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement, acquisition of land for habitat conservation and species protection, research, education, and other programs. The funds also help pay for hunter safety, aquatic education, and fish and wildlife-related recreation projects. The funds are apportioned by formula under the two Federal Assistance programs.
The Wildlife Restoration apportionment for 2006 totals more than $233 million, with nearly $42 million going for hunter education and shooting range programs. The apportionment for Sport Fish Restoration for 2006 totals more than $290 million.
Apportionments in the Fish and Wildlife Services Midwest Region are as follows:
Sport Fish Restoration:
Wildlife Restoration funds are made available to states based on land area (land plus inland waters, such as lakes and large rivers) and the number of hunting license holders in each state. Distribution of hunter education funds is based on the relative population of each state.
The Service distributes Sport Fish Restoration funds to the states based on the land and water area (land plus inland water, plus the Great Lakes and marine coastal areas) and the number of fishing license holders in each state.
Wildlife Restoration is guided by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 and is funded by the collection of excise taxes and import duties on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment. States use these funds to manage wildlife populations, conduct habitat research, surveys and inventories, and to administer hunter education programs.
Sport Fish Restoration is guided by the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 and is funded by the collection of excise taxes and import duties on sport fishing equipment and tackle, motorboat and small engine fuels and pleasure boats.
States use Sport Fish Restoration program funds to stock fish; acquire and improve sport fish habitat; provide aquatic resource education opportunities; conduct fisheries research; and construct boat ramps, fishing piers, and other facilities necessary to provide recreational boating access.
Federal Assistance funds pay for up to 75% of the cost of each project while the states contribute at least 25%