June 10, 2024

Ben O’Brien || The American System Of Conservation Funding

Fred catches up with Ben O’Brien of Woodside Media for this week’s feature episode of the Sportsmen’s Voice podcast. After covering the pair’s turkey hunting exploits this year, the conversation dives deep into the fascinating history of the American system of conservation funding, the significance of storytelling and education in conservation, and the impact of hunting on society. The discussion delves into the history of conservation funding, the importance of understanding and advocating for these systems, and the need for continuous updates and improvements. Ben gives a masterclass in the historical context of conservation funding through Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson, the challenges of bipartisan cooperation, and the potential impact of the backpack tax on wildlife restoration.

Fred and Ben also explore the decline in hunting and fishing participation, the role of the outdoor recreation economy, and the need to bridge the gap between hunting and outdoor enthusiasts. The conversation delves into the importance of wildlife conservation, the role of hunters and anglers in wildlife management, the need for open dialogue and understanding between different conservation perspectives, and the launch of Ben’s new venture, Woodside Media which is focused on storytelling and marketing for conservation organizations.


  • It is critically important for sportsmen and women to understand and advocate for the American System of Conservation Funding.
  • Ben shares the historical context of conservation funding and the importance in understanding the current challenges and opportunities in wildlife restoration.
  • Bipartisan cooperation is essential for the effective implementation of conservation funding.
  • The backpack tax is a potential solution that would require support from both the sporting community and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
  • The decline in hunting and fishing participation, along with the rise of the outdoor recreation economy, highlights the need to bridge the gap between these two groups and find common ground in protecting wild spaces.
  • Ben explores the idea and history around the “backpack tax” and how additional funding would contribute to wildlife and habitat management and restoration. The challenges associated with such a model raises important questions.
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