Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator
Why It Matters: States without a dedicated conservation funding mechanism may potentially leave millions of dollars on the table every year because they cannot provide the match funding for various federal conservation programs. Louisiana does not have a dedicated conservation funding mechanism.
Many states across the Southeast have conservation funding mechanisms that complement the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding such as a conservation sales tax or a dedicated sales tax on outdoor sporting goods. These states can leverage funds for habitat work through Farm Bill programs that provide $6 billion annually for conservation on private lands across the country. Additionally, funding is available through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs that match state-generated dollars at a 3:1 ratio.
Having the ability to provide matching funds for federal conservation projects goes a long way in assisting state fish and wildlife agencies in providing funding for critical conservation projects that benefit wildlife and their habitats as well as outdoor recreationists.
The Study Group is tasked with providing a report to the Louisiana State Legislature by February 1 with subsequent legislation based on their findings expected to be filed during the 2022 legislative session.
Investing in conservation benefits fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, our outdoor sporting heritage, and the general public at large. CSF will continue to support the efforts of the Outdoor Conservation Study Group as they work towards establishing dedicated conservation funding in the “Sportsman’s Paradise.”
To watch the Louisiana Outdoor Study Group’s November meeting, please click here.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?