On June 13, at the Bass Pro Shops in Hookset, NH, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the 2017 Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration apportionments. Joining Secretary Zinke for this year’s announcement were Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Chris Sununu, many members of the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and state fish and wildlife agency directors from across the United States, including the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Glenn Normandeau.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs are two of the three pillars of the “user-pays, public-benefits” American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF) – the third being revenue from hunting and fishing licenses, which is permanently linked to state-level conservation efforts due to the passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act (Wildlife Restoration Act) and the Dingell-Johnson Act (Sport Fish Restoration Act). Through the ASCF, America’s sportsmen and women contribute approximately 80% of the funding that state fish and wildlife agencies rely on to manage our nation’s fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. These critical conservation dollars fund a variety of efforts including: enhanced fish and wildlife habitat and populations, recreational access to public and private lands, shooting ranges and boat access facilities, wetlands protection and its associated water filtration and flood retention functions, and improved soil and water conservation – all of which benefit the American public at-large; consumptive and non-consumptive users alike.
State-by-state listings of the final Fiscal year 2017 apportionments of Wildlife Restoration Program can be found here and the Sport Fish Restoration Program here. For a more in-depth discussion on the American System of Conservation Funding, including information on the projects that sportsmen and women fund in your state, please visit our website at www.sportsmenslink.org.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.07%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (12.92%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (62.73%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.28%)