Newsroom Midwest Region

Celebrating 80 years of wildlife restoration

September 7, 2017

A veteran hunter mentors a youth hunter. Photo by USFWS.
A veteran hunter mentors a youth hunter. Photo by USFWS.

This week marks an 80-year milestone in conservation history. In 1937, the Wildlife Restoration Act was passed by congress, which set aside an excise tax on firearms and ammunition to state wildlife agencies to be used for wildlife conservation projects, hunter education and outdoor recreation areas. Joined in 1950 by the Sport Fish Restoration Act, these two acts contribute about $1.8 billion each year to conservation. These funds, administered through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, support state wildlife and fish restoration projects across the United States.

More than half the revenue generated from the Wildlife Restoration Act has been used to buy, develop and maintain wildlife management areas. Since 1937, more than four million acres have been protected - more than the size of Connecticut! These state-owned lands may have been created as a home for wildlife, but they give us all clean air, clean water, and access to outdoor recreation.

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

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