Newsroom Midwest Region

Midwest states receive more than $190 million for recreation access, conservation

Excise tax revenues benefit fish, wildlife, outdoor recreation and local communities

April 11, 2019

White-tailed deer. Photo by Larry Palmer/USFWS.
White-tailed deer. Photo by Larry Palmer/USFWS.

Outdoor recreationists who hunt, shoot, fish and boat are providing more than $1 billion this year to support increased outdoor access and wildlife habitat conservation across the United States. We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pleased to announce that more than $190 million of these funds will be distributed to midwest state wildlife agencies. The Service distributes funds to all 50 states and U.S. territories. The funds are generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel.

Authorized by Congress through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, these dollars support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are administered through the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, which is long considered the foundation of fish and wildlife conservation in the United States.

In the midwest, these funds will be used to conserve wildlife and their habitats, as well as support access for outdoor recreation in each of our region’s eight states - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. These funds support important conservation projects such as research and monitoring of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer. Funds are also used to increase access to outdoor reaction opportunities, like boating - through boat ramps and infrastructure that allows access for all.

“For many decades funds generated by these programs have consistently supported millions of acres and miles of outdoor recreation access and wildlife habitat in this country,” said Margaret Everson, the Service’s Principal Deputy Director. “Thanks to industry, states and hunters, shooters, anglers and boaters, America’s wildlife and natural resources and the opportunities they provide will be available for generations to come.”

To date the Service has distributed more than $21 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects. The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $7.3 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

Learn more about the Service’s final state by state apportionment listings for the Wildlife Restoration Program and Sport Fish Restoration program funds for Fiscal Year 2019.

Learn more about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.