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State Fish and Wildlife Agencies to Share in More Than $530 Million


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26 , 2005

Contacts:
Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS, 202/208-5636

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that State fish and wildlife agencies will share more than $530 million in excise taxes paid by America's recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters, to support fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.

The agencies will 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 will help pay for hunter safety, aquatic education and fish and wildlife-related recreation projects. The funds are apportioned by formula under two Federal Assistance programs.

"The Federal Assistance in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs reflect the deep commitment our nation’s hunters, sport-shooters, anglers and boaters have to conserving fish and wildlife and their habitat," Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton said. "By supporting these excise taxes, sportsmen and women are contributing critical funds – more than $9.5 billion over the past 67 years – for maintaining and restoring our fish and wildlife resources."

The wildlife restoration apportionment for 2005 totals more than $235 million, with more than $46 million going for hunter education and shooting range programs. The apportionment for sport fish restoration for 2005 totals nearly $295 million.

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.

Federal Assistance funds pay for up to 75 percent of the cost of each project while the states contribute at least 25 percent.

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 Wildlife Restoration Program funds to manage wildlife populations, 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 tackl e, trolling motors,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 build boat ramps, fishing piers and other facilities necessary to provide recreational boating access.

Please visit the Service’s Division of Federal Assistance web site at <http://federalaid.fws.gov> for state-by-state funding allocations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish,wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 n ational fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program,which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.



For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



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