FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 8, 2014
Contacts: Joanna Gilkeson 612-713-5170 & Jim Hodgson 612-713-5131
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces $27 Million to Missouri from Excise Taxes on Anglers, Hunters and Boaters
Recreational Users Provide Record Support for Critical Conservation Projects
City of Parkville, Mo. officials hold groundbreaking ceremony for boat ramp and access road. Photo courtesy of Platte County Parks and Recreation.
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.”
Missouri has been a recipient of user-generated funding from the Service for decades. This year, the Missouri Department of Conservation will receive over $27 million dollars in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration dollars. All of this funding has been invested in restoring and conserving Missouri’s fish and wildlife natural resources. Over the past few years, funding has supported important restoration projects including the Platte Landing Park Access, turkey monitoring, and researching Missouri black bears, all of which will have a significant impact on outdoor recreation opportunities. The 2014 Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds will support these ongoing projects and new conservation projects. Listed below are examples of conservation projects currently funded through these dollars.
Platte Landing Park Access
MDC partnered with the County to construct the Platte Landing Park Access which is funded, partially, through Sport Fish Restoration dollars. When completed, it will be easier and faster for Missouri anglers and boaters to use and enjoy the Missouri River upstream of Kansas City. Given its location in a major metropolitan area and in a county with one of the fastest growing populations in Missouri, this new motorboat access will receive heavy public use and encourage boaters and anglers to access the Missouri River for recreational purposes.
Survival, Recruitment, and Movements of Missouri Black Bears
With the help of Wildlife Restoration dollars, the MDC is conducting research on the black bears in the state. This research project will estimate demographics such as reproduction and survival, and develop a model to be used to estimate population size and growth. This model will be used to estimate the time at which the black bear population in Missouri will be large enough to implement a harvest season. In addition, this study will help Missouri identify suitable black bear habitat and which travel corridors connect to significant areas of habitat. Missouri will use the final results to develop black bear conservation and management strategies identified in Missouri’s Black Bear Management Plan.
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.
Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.