The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed $1.1 billion to state wildlife agencies on March 6.
The money provided supports critical state environmental conservation and recreation projects in states across the country.
"State wildlife agencies play an essential role in the conservation of America's wildlife, while also generating billions of dollars for the nation's economy through increased hunting and fishing opportunities. It's fitting that those very sporting activities help sustain wildlife, their habitats and the agencies that manage them," says Service Director Dan Ashe. "Our role in administering these funds reflects our long-standing partnership with the states across a broad spectrum of wildlife conservation issues."
The funds were generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. Specifically, excise taxes paid by the hunting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition (Pittman-Robertson), and sportfishing tackle, some boat engines and small engine fuel (Dingell-Johnson), provide the funding for the states.
The Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program administers Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson act funds.
Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson funded projects currently include:
- The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) is renovating 11 wildlife management areas to help create and restore more than 1,300 acres of waterfowl habitat. Restoration efforts include replacing and upgrading pumps and pipeline for increased water management ability; and establishing multiple moist-soil units in the wildlife management area.
- The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is partnering with North Carolina State University to study black bear populations near Asheville, NC. The study tracks the movement of the bears and determines the corridors they are likely to use in urban environments. When completed, the studies will provide scientific information for species management decisions in urban areas.
- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will use its aquatic education grant to recruit, train, and retain a network of at least 500 volunteers. These volunteers will teach aquatic education programs that are expected to benefit approximately 35,000 Texan anglers and angling novices.
"We are proud to support our state wildlife conservation agencies," said Hannibal Bolton, assistant director of the Service's WSFR program. "Funding from the Pittman-Robertson-Dingell-Johnson program will help states protect and conserve our nation's environmental legacy for generations to come."
A complete list of Wildlife Restoration Funds and Sport Fish Restoration funds is available to view here.