The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced over $1.6 billion in apportionments to support states, commonwealths and territories in their efforts to connect people with nature and conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats. The record-setting funding is supported through excise taxes paid last year on small-engine fuel and by manufacturers of hunting and fishing equipment and is disbursed through the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. The state-industry-federal partnership was established nearly a century ago with the support of sportsmen and sportswomen, manufacturers, and conservation professionals and has proven to be one of the most effective tools for conservation in the world.
“This partnership is vital to wildlife and habitat conservation and outdoor pursuits throughout the country because it helps our state partners create opportunities for recreational access and monitor and manage wildlife and wild places,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “These funds play an important role by augmenting work under other national conservation and stewardship-oriented efforts such as those supported by President Biden’s , , and America the Beautiful initiative.”
Since 1937, the Service has distributed more than $27 billion through annual apportionments for state conservation and public access projects, which have been matched by approximately $9 billion in investments by recipient fish and wildlife agencies. Through these combined funds, agencies have supported the stocking of over 1 billion fish, managed and monitored over 500 species of mammals and birds, provided hunter education to over 1 million students, and constructed or renovated over 850 target ranges.
“The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program provides national leadership and administrative support as our partners use the funds to make management and access decisions that fit their needs,” said Paul Rauch Assistant Director, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Eligible states, commonwealths and territories receive these grant funds through formula-based permanent appropriations tied primarily to their land and water area and number of paid recreational hunting and fishing license holders. No state receives more than five percent, nor less than one-half of one percent of the total funds available nationally. The grants typically fund up to 75% of project costs, and most grantees must provide a matching share of up to 25%, usually from hunting and fishing license revenues.
To view the Service’s final apportionment of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant funds for Fiscal Year 2023, visit https://www.fws.gov/program/wildlife-restoration and https://www.fws.gov/program/sport-fish-restoration. Historic apportionment data is also available from www.partnerwithapayer.org/funding-sources/.