May 6, 2015
Hunters, Anglers Fund America’s Conservation Efforts
MISSOULA, Mont.—New statistics recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) show hunters and anglers generated $1.1 billion in 2014. That funding will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to support America's conservation and recreation projects.
"'Hunting Is Conservation' is not just a motto or a theme or a mantra. It's truth," said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. "Sportsmen and women who hunt and fish are the people who generate the funds for on-the-ground conservation and wildlife management efforts from coast to coast."
The funding is raised through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs which place excise taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, electric boat motors, and from taxes on the purchase of motorboat fuel.
"These funds are the cornerstone of state-based efforts that are critical to the preservation of America's wildlife and natural resources," said Service Director Dan Ashe. "But they are also the fuel for a massive financial engine that benefits outdoor recreationists, hunters, boaters and anglers, equipment manufacturers and retailers, and local and regional economies. Their value cannot be overstated in providing opportunities for the next generation of Americans to get outdoors, experience our wild places and learn the importance of conserving our natural heritage."
"It is thanks to this significant financial investment made by America's sportsmen and women and the hunting, shooting sports, angling and boating industries that state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies can deliver science-based conservation on the ground," said Larry Voyles, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies president and Arizona Game and Fish Department director. "The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has made the difference between the survival and abundance of some species and it helps agencies, like mine, manage a vast estate of lands and waters and connect more people to wildlife-related recreation."
Funding generated by RMEF's volunteers and members in 2014 furthered the Elk Foundation's conservation mission by helping complete 253 land and habitat stewardship projects that protected or enhanced 160,180 acres of elk habitat and opened or secured public access to 61,817 acres.
"We are so grateful for our dedicated volunteers and members, as well as sportsmen and women around the country for their passion for land and wildlife conservation," added Allen.
Go here to see a state-by-state breakdown of the funding distribution.