FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 8, 2014
Contacts: Joanna Gilkeson, 612-713-5170 & Jim Hodgson, 612-713-5131
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces $17 Million to Indiana from Excise Taxes on Anglers, Hunters and Boaters
Recreational Users Provide Record Support for Critical Conservation Projects
Learning about shooting. Photo courtesy of Indiana DNR.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute nearly $1.1 billion in excise tax revenues paid by sportsmen and sportswomen to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. The Service’s Midwest Region received over $210 million dollars from the excise tax revenues. This funding will be distributed among the Midwest Region’s 8 states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin by the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
“For over 75 years, hunters, shooters, anglers and boaters have supported the conservation of fish and wildlife resources and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program,” said Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “Their support has left a lasting legacy in the Midwest – restoring fish and wildlife populations, improving access for recreational boaters and boosting conservation related education programs helping people to connect with hunting, shooting, fishing and boating.”
Indiana has been a recipient of user-generated funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for decades. This year the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will receive over $17 million in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration dollars. All of this funding has been invested in restoring and conserving Indiana’s fish and wildlife natural resources. Over the past few years, funding has supported important restoration projects including the Healthy Rivers Initiative, the National Archery in Schools Program, shooting ranges, and public access sites for fishing and boating. All of these programs have significant impacts on the outdoor recreation opportunities available for the public in Indiana. The 2014 Wildlife and
Sport Fish Restoration apportionments will support these ongoing projects and new restoration projects. Listed below are examples of conservation projects currently funded through these dollars.
National Archery in Schools Program
The National Archery in Schools curriculum has been adapted and accepted by the Indiana school accreditation process. This program provides archery instruction as part of physical education classes in elementary schools throughout Indiana. Currently, there are approximately 290 Indiana schools already involved and actively participating in the program. The program is widely accepted for youth because it has been proven to be a boundary free sport that crosses multiple skill, strength, and ability levels. The Wildlife Restoration Program was a significant partner in introducing this program to youth in Indiana.
Go FishIN in the City Program
The DNR’s new program Go FishIN in the City helps urban communities become connected to fishing opportunities. With the Go FishIN in the City Program, Indiana is focusing its resources on restoring urban fishing sites. Currently, most of Indiana’s prime fishing locations are located a reasonable travel distance from urban areas. The purpose of this program is to remove the barriers from fishing access. One dozen parks have ponds that are being stocked twice each spring with 12 to 15 inch channel catfish. Rainbow trout have even been stocked in a few situations to provide diverse angling opportunities for Indiana’s urban recreationists. Funding for Go FishIN in the City is in part provided by the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
The Service apportions the funds to all 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. Revenues come from excise taxes generated by the sale of sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines. The total distributions this year are $238.4 million higher than last year because of the inclusion of funds that were not distributed last year due to the government sequester and an increase in excise tax receipts from sales of firearms and ammunition in the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2014 totals a record $760.9 million, which includes $20 million that was sequestered from FY 2013 but subsequently returned to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund. The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2014 totals $325.7 million, which includes $18.5 million that was sequestered from FY 2013 but subsequently returned to the Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund. The FY 2014 Sport Fish Restoration apportionment is $34.1 million lower than FY 2013 due to lower domestic fishing equipment excise tax receipts.
The Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project, while state fish and wildlife agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, generally using hunting and fishing license revenues as the required non-federal match. For information on funding for each state, click here. To learn more about the projects funded in the Service’s Midwest Region, click here.
To learn more about the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, please visit our website at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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