Montana to receive share of billion-dollar national distribution

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced $1.1 billion in annual funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. Montana will receive a total of $28 million, including almost $8 million in Sport Fish Restoration program funds and $20 million in Wildlife Restoration program funds.

The announcement was made during day one of a four-day trip across the Northeast, where the Secretary met with state fish and wildlife agency directors as part of a Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson Grants Roundtable that focused on recreation and partnerships.

“For nearly eight decades, the nation’s hunters and anglers have generated billions of dollars to protect wildlife and habitat simply by purchasing items that help them engage in the outdoor activities they enjoy,” Zinke said. “Their support has helped state wildlife agencies protect our country’s environmental legacy for future generations of hunters, anglers, outdoor recreationists and conservationists.”

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.

Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the Service has distributed more than $19 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.

“The conservation and outdoor recreation gains made possible by this funding mechanism, which is unique to the United States, serve as the bedrock of wildlife conservation in our country,” said Service Acting Director Jim Kurth.

The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

For more information about the WSFR program visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.

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