Outdoor Recreation Funds Fish and Wildlife

FishingOutdoor recreationists contribute a lot to keeping fish and wildlife populations healthy.  Special Federal excise taxes on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, electric boat motors, and taxes on motorboat fuel all contribute to fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the U.S.

“These funds are the cornerstone of state-based efforts that are critical to the preservation of America’s wildlife and natural resources,” said Fish and Wildlife 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.”

This spring, $1.1 billion of these funds were distributed to the states and territories for a wide array of projects.

“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.”

Additional funds are derived through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes, and boat and fishing import duties, as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes for the Clean Vessel Act grant program.  Twenty-seven states recently received shares from a total of $16.2 million.  these funds will be used for construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of on-board septic waste.

“The Clean Vessel Act is critical in helping states maintain clean and healthy waters,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Steve Guertin. “Systems built through these funds ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems, and healthy recreational areas will be accessible to the American public and wildlife.”

So,  keep recreating and keep contributing to the health of our nation’s ecosystems!

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