Landmark Publication Celebrates 75 Years of Conservation and Partnership
Success Through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
Program Has Generated $14 Billion for Conservation from Hunters and
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has released a landmark publication
celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program, the cornerstone of fish and wildlife conservation in
North America. This vital program provides more than $700 million each
year through the sale of hunting and fishing equipment to support habitat
conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation.
The anniversary publication – “Celebrating the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Program, 75 years of Conservation and Partnership Success” –
comes at the end of a year-long awareness campaign with state fish and
wildlife agencies, non-governmental conservation organizations, fish and
wildlife agencies, industry partners (including the American Sportfishing
Association, the Archery Trade Association, National Marine Manufacturers
Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation), and friends
highlighting the Program, one of the most significant and successful
conservation initiatives in history.
“All Americans, whether or not they hunt or fish, benefit from this
program. There’s a good chance that the trail they hike, the park where
they watch birds, and the wildlife they see every day wouldn’t exist
without the funding provided by hunters and anglers,” said Assistant
Director Hannibal Bolton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “In addition to
providing conservation benefits, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds
– along with revenue from state fishing and hunting licenses – support
local economies and generate thousands of jobs.”
Since its inception in 1937, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration
program has generated more than $14 billion, which state fish and wildlife
agencies use to purchase public land, improve essential wildlife habitat
and create additional outdoor opportunities for everyone. It is funded
through an excise tax on hunting- and shooting-related merchandise,
fishing supplies and boat fuel. In 2011, hunters, anglers and wildlife
watchers spent $145 billion on related gear, trips and other purchases
such as licenses, tags, land leases and ownership.
For example, the State of Kentucky has used Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration funding to re-establish elk in the state. Elk once roamed the
hills of Kentucky, but by the mid-1850s, none were to be found. In a true
partnership effort, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Resources, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Shikar Safari Club
joined forces to bring this magnificent animal back to its native range.
From 1997 to 2002, a total of 1,556 elk were captured from herds in six
states and released in Kentucky. The project has been a resounding
success. In 2009, the herd reached the project goal of 10,000 elk.
And in Alabama, the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park have teamed up to offer an
aquatic education experience to thousands of school children. Last year,
approximately 3,000 children from 23 schools participated in “Creek Kids.”
With its rolling hills, cold water springs, rapids, pools and a mill dam,
Tannehill is the perfect setting to get kids out of the classroom and
immersed in nature. Students learn about watersheds and the aquatic
environment from wildlife biologists, and get the chance to see firsthand
how they can help conserve this unique heritage.
These are just two of dozens of examples of success stories contained in
the anniversary publication, which offers an overall description of the
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and its role as the economic
backbone of state and federal fish and wildlife management and habitat
conservation activities across the United States.
Additional publication highlights include:
Descriptions of successful conservation partnerships involving
state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and additional Fish and
Wildlife Service partners throughout the country.
Accounts of diverse fish and wildlife species and outdoor
recreation activities that are supported by the Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration program and its partners, as well as the federal grant
programs conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
A detailed history of the program from its inception in 1937.
“The success of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program over the
past 75 years to restore fish and wildlife populations, open access for
outdoor recreation and provide safety education has been the greatest
untold conservation story," said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. "This publication illustrates the
trust between America's sportsmen and women; the hunting, shooting sports
and angling industry; and state and federal agencies that is the backbone
of our users-pay, everyone benefits funding system for fish and wildlife
Click here to download the publication.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is a 75-year partnership
to benefit fish and wildlife, and provide Americans with access to the
outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users
of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters, and shooters and managed by
Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses
and motorboat fuel tax also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the
program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied
jobs for many Americans, and benefited local economies through boating,
fishing, hunting, and shooting activities.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others
to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their
habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a
leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for
our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources,
dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more
information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit
www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws,
follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at
http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at