Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act

This Act, Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669-669i; 50 Stat. 917) of September 2, 1937, is commonly called the "Pittman-Robertson Act." It has been amended several times, and provides Federal aid to States for management and restoration of wildlife.

Funds from an 11 percent excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition [Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 4161(b)] are appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior and apportioned to States on a formula basis for paying up to 75 percent of the cost approved projects. Project activities include acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, introduction of wildlife into suitable habitat, research into wildlife problems, surveys and inventories of wildlife problems, acquisition and development of access facilities for public use, and hunter education programs, including construction and operation of public target ranges.

Public Law 91-503, approved October 23, 1970, (84 Stat. 1097) added provisions for the deposit of the 10 percent tax on pistols and revolvers, one-half of which may be used by the States for hunter safety programs. This amendment also provided for development of comprehensive fish and wildlife management plans as an optional means for participating in the program, and changed the maximum limit from $10,000 to one-half percent for Puerto Rico and to one-sixth percent for the Virgin Islands and Guam.

On October 25, 1972, the Act was further amended by P.L. 92-558 (86 Stat. 1172) to add provisions for the deposit of the 11-percent excise tax on bows, arrows, and their parts and accessories for use in wildlife projects or hunter safety programs.

Amendments enacted June 8, 1974 (P.L. 93-313; 88 Stat. 238) provided for a six-month delay, until January 1, 1975, in initiation of collection of the excise tax on bows, arrows, parts and accessories.

Public Law 98-369 (26 U.S.C. 1 note; 98 Stat. 502), approved July 18, 1984, contained a provision that expanded the tax on arrows to include those used in crossbows.

Public Law 98-347 (16 U.S.C. 669h-1; 98 Stat. 321), approved July 9, 1984, amended section 8(a) of the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act to make American Samoa eligible for wildlife restoration and hunter safety programs.

Public Law 101-233 (103 Stat. 1968), approved December 13, 1989, amended the Act to require the Secretary of Treasury to invest funds held in interest-bearing obligations. Provides that that interest be used to fund the North American Wetlands Conservation Act through fiscal year 2005, and then to be available for the wildlife restoration fund beginning fiscal year 2006.

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