The hunting and fishing industries, as well as recreational shooters, hunters, boaters, and anglers, continue to fund conservation across the nation.
Program funds come from excise taxes paid by manufacturers, producers, and importers on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines.
The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2011 totals more than $384 million, of which more than $79 million is for hunter education and safety programs.
Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program funding is available to all 50 states, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. One-half of the 11 percent excise tax on bows, arrows, and archery equipment and 10 percent excise tax on handguns, pistols, and revolvers make up the funding for hunter education programs. The other one-half of the excise tax are for wildlife restoration purposes, including the 11 percent excise tax on firearms and ammunition.
Each state or territory receives a Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment derived from a formula that incorporates its total land area and number of paid hunting license holders. Each state or territory may not receive more than 5 percent or less than one-half of 1 percent of the total apportionment. Fish and wildlife agencies use these funds to manage wildlife populations, conduct habitat research, acquire wildlife habitat, enhance wildlife habitat, and public hunting access, carry out surveys and inventories, administer hunter education programs, and construct and maintain shooting and archery ranges.
For more information on the goals and accomplishments of these programs and for individual State, Commonwealth, and territorial funding allocations, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Web site at: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/