Midwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program:
Learning from the Minnesota Hunting and Fishing Manufacturing Community

April 12, 2011


Listening session participants from hunting and fishing industries with FWS and DNR staff.
USFWS Photo.

Did you know that manufacturers of hunting and fishing equipment are major contributors to the largest single conservation effort in the United States?

From ammunition to fishing tackle and motorboat fuel, the excise taxes paid by manufacturers go to support a reimbursement program that funds conservation research, on the ground restoration, and fish and wildlife management activities at the State level. How? Through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

But how much do manufacturers really know about this user-pay - user-benefit program? To find out, the Midwest Region's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, coordinated a small in-person discussion group with representatives from the hunting and angling industry in Minnesota. The gathering of eight industry representatives fueled a candid conversation about the hunting and fishing sports, the excise taxes paid by manufacturers on their products, and general knowledge about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and how it works.

"Our objective for this meeting was to find out what manufacturers know, and don't know, about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program," said Jim Hodgson, chief of the Midwest Region's WSFR program. "As far as we know this is the first meeting of its kind anywhere."

"We are constantly being asked by our industry partners, what are you doing with the money? The long-term goal of this effort is to increase understanding and communication about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program among the Service, state natural resources agencies, and the private companies that pay federal excise tax on the manufacturing of guns and ammunition, bows and arrows, angling equipment, and certain other outdoor sporting goods," Hodgson said.

With every fish caught and every game species hunted, the hunting and angling community, both consumers and producers, have more than likely contributed to a portion of its life cycle in some way, either through restoration of its habitat, acquisition of land, or some other conservation effort supported by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

 


The Midwest Region's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and an external facilitator, coordinated a small in-person discussion group with representatives from the hunting and angling industry in Minnesota. Facilitated by a professional facilitator on the University of Minnesota campus, the gathering of eight industry representatives fueled a candid conversation about the hunting and fishing sports, the excise taxes paid by manufacturers on their products, and general knowledge about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and how it works.

View all listening session photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/sets/72157626331130723/

 

Last updated: February 12, 2013