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Current and former state wildlife directors holding a giant check with the Service's principal deputy director.
Information icon From left to right, Dan Forster VP Conservation Officer for Archery Trade Association, Ross Melinchuk Conservation Policy Officer for the National Turkey Federation, Eric Sutton Executive Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Nick Wiley Conservation Policy Officer for Ducks Unlimited, Greg Sheehan Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo by Tim Donovan, FWC.

Florida to receive $26,588,009 in funding for conservation and sportsmen access

Interior announces funds from Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center in Midway

Midway, Florida – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $26,588,009 million in funding for Florida from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. The announcement was made by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan from the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center, which provides students the opportunity to learn about aquatic ecology, archery, angling and hunting in a natural setting.

USFWS Principal Deputy Director behind a podium.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. Photo by Tim Donovan, FWC.

Download state-by-state listings of the final Fiscal Year 2018 apportionments for the Wildlife Restoration Program fund and the Sport Fish Restoration Program fund. Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $20.2 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.

“American sportsmen have sustained a near 80-year commitment to conservation stewardship through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson grant programs. The sale of hunting, archery, shooting, fishing and boating equipment has generated billions of dollars for states to protect fish, wildlife and their habitats,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We appreciate that hunters and anglers are among America’s greatest conservationists, with a deep commitment to all our wildlife and the great outdoors. These grants benefit all of us who enjoy spending time in nature, help ensure wildlife persists for future generations, and bolster the outdoor traditions that are central to the identity of our nation.”

The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, archery, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, archery equipment, ammunition, sport fishing equipment, and a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboat fuel and small engines.

“Florida’s Wildlife Management Area system is one of the largest in the country and has grown throughout the years to encompass nearly 6 million acres,” said Florida Wildlife Commission Executive Director Eric Sutton. “These natural communities span a variety of habitats – from longleaf pine uplands and pine flatwoods to the hardwood hammocks and sawgrass savannas of the Everglades. These beautiful areas provide essential habitat for Florida’s diverse fish and wildlife and also provide the public with unparalleled fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The funding provided by the WSFR program when matched with state dollars, supports the management of Florida’s WMAs, the freshwater systems and the marine habitats that make Florida so unique.”

Sheehan and Sutton were joined by Nick Wiley, the chief conservation officer at Ducks Unlimited, Dan Forster, the vice president and chief conservation officer at the Archery Trade Association, and Ross Melinchuk, the vice president for conservation at the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

Learn more about the WSFR program or check out the photo album from this event on Flickr.


Phil Kloer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region at

Katie Purcell, Florida Fish and Wildlife Comission at

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. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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