This week, Secretary of the Interior (DOI) Ryan Zinke announced that more than $1 billion in annual national funding will be allocated to state fish and wildlife agencies across the country to be used for their conservation efforts.
This funding comes from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration funds, which are generated through revenue from hunting and fishing license sales and excise taxes from sporting equipment purchases. This user-pays, public-benefits program, better known as the American System of Conservation Funding, provides critical dollars for conservation research, private and public habitat management, hunter education, shooting range development, land acquisition and easements, and angler access area construction. Since 1939, state fish and wildlife agencies have received over $62.1 billion from contributions of sportsmen and women.
In a DOI statement, Secretary Zinke said, “American sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts.”
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?