FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 8, 2014
Contacts: Joanna Gilkeson 612-713-5170 & Jim Hodgson 612-713-5131
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces $22 Million to Ohio from Excise Taxes on Anglers, Hunters and Boaters
Recreational Users Provide Record Support for Critical Conservation Projects
1 million steelhead trout are reared at Castalia State Fish Hatchery. Photo by Roger Tabor/USFWS.
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.”
Ohio has been a recipient of user-generated funding from the Service for decades. This year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will receive over $22 million dollars in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration dollars. All of this funding has been invested in restoring and conserving Ohio’s fish and wildlife natural resources. Over the years, funding has supported important restoration projects that allow for improved and diverse hunting, fishing, and recreation opportunities in Ohio. The 2014 Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds will support these ongoing projects and new conservation projects. Listed below are examples of conservation projects funded through these dollars.
Delaware Shooting Range
With the support of Wildlife Restoration funds, the Ohio DNR is planning to restore the Delaware Shooting Range, an aging shooting range where the facilities no longer meet demand and offer limited shooting opportunities. The existing range is located in mid-central Ohio and experiences frequent flooding from the Olentangy River. The new facility is estimated to be completed in Fall of 2015, and will include a new education center for hunter education courses. Updated range amenities will enhance rifle, pistol, and archery opportunities for the public.
Castalia State Fish Hatchery
In April of 2012, Ohio dedicated the newly remodeled Castalia State Fish Hatchery. The original hatchery had the capacity to raise 400,000 steelhead trout each year to stock several Lake Erie Tributaries. With the help of Sport Fish Restoration dollars, renovations were made to the now 12,000-square-foot hatchery. The facility can house 1 million steelhead eggs and up to 500,000 fingerlings to support the steelhead trout. The restoration of this hatchery will allow for more fishing opportunities for anglers in Ohio.
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 not distributed last year due to the government sequester as well as 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.
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