Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration
Northeast Region

Wildlife Restoration Program Overview


Funding Cycle

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, sometimes referred to as "Pittman-Robertson" for its Congressional sponsors, placed excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment that are collected at the manufacturers level. Manufacturers build the cost of the tax into the selling price. The funding cycle is as follows: hunters and shooters purchase equipment; manufacturers of equipment pay the excise tax into the Wildlife Restoration Account. Funds are distributed to state agencies for conservation and management, thus creating more opportunities for hunters and shooters.

Wildlife Restoration Program Funding Cycle

Fund Distribution

2004 Funding distribution

State Wildlife Restoration Apportionment

The amount of wildlife restoration funds that a state receives is determined by the state's land area and the number of paid hunting license holders. No state may receive more than 5% of the total, and no stay may receive less than ½%.

States are required to match wildlife restoration funds with at least a 25% share of state money. These matching funds come from hunting licenses or an in-kind contribution.

Types of Wildlife Restoration Projects

  • Acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat – over 5 million acres have been purchased since 1937
  • Research into problems of wildlife management
  • Wildlife population surveys – determining whether a population is increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable
  • Management of wildlife populations
  • Reintroduction of wildlife – species such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and river otter have been reintroduced to their historical range
  • Hunter education –each year almost ¾ of a million more students learn to be responsible and safe hunters by completing a hunter education course

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Last updated: March 21, 2013
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