On March 20, 2018, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke traveled to Horicon, Wisconsin, where he announced more than $1.1 billion in annual national funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts.
The Secretary presented a ceremonial check to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for $34,966,603 while visiting the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $20.2 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.
“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,” said Secretary Zinke. “For nearly eighty years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works.”
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources manages over 11,000 acres of the Horicon Marsh and almost every habitat project they complete includes PRDJ dollars, including prescribed burning, invasive species treatments, wetland berm maintenance, prairie seeding and restoration, timber stand improvement.
The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel.
Wisconsin boaters generate $1.18 billion of economic impact annually while hunting contributes to $2.5 billion in yearly economic impact. Angling creates over 21,000 jobs while impacting the economy to the tune of $2.3 billion each year.
“These funds are integral to our ability to provide hunting and fishing access, restore habitat and manage species at the state level,” said Daniel L. Meyer, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “We greatly value the partnership we have with the Service and the Department of Interior.”
The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.
Photo of Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area by Allen C. via Wikipedia.