Fish & Game Fund­ing

Catron Courier - - Opinion & Editorial -

The US Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice (Ser­vice) re­cently an­nounced the na­tion­wide dis­tri­bu­tion of more than $1.1 bil­lion in rev­enues gen­er­ated by PittmanRobert­son Wildlife Restora­tion and Din­gel­lJohn­son Sport Fish Restora­tion Acts. All four states in the Ser­vice’s South­west Re­gion have the op­por­tu­nity to share in this dis­tri­bu­tion of con­ser­va­tion fund­ing.

In 2016, $123,356,617 will be avail­able to the states of Ari­zona, New Mex­ico, Ok­la­homa and Texas. The money sup­ports es­sen­tial con­ser­va­tion en­deav­ors per­formed by state fish and game agen­cies and is de­rived by ex­cise taxes, a user-pay user­ben­e­fit sys­tem, paid on gear for fish­ing, boat­ing, shoot­ing and hunt­ing.

“Hunters, shoot­ers, an­glers and boaters have done more to fund es­sen­tial con­ser­va­tion work than any other group,” said Cliff Sch­leusner, Chief of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restora­tion Pro­gram in the Ser­vice’s South­west Re­gion. “The Ser­vice de­liv­ers the money to on-the­ground projects that prove ben­e­fi­cial to fish and wildlife and ac­cess to out­door re­cre­ation. The WSFR Pro­gram has a pro­found in­flu­ence on con­ser­va­tion and the econ­omy and our heritage of out­door pur­suits.”

The WSFR Pro­gram has fa­cil­i­tated im­pres­sive con­ser­va­tion part­ner­ships since 1937. Over these in­ter­ven­ing 79 years, more than $18 bil­lion has been gen­er­ated for the bet­ter­ment of wildlife, fish­eries and boat­ing ac­cess. Fish­ing and hunt­ing li­cense rev­enues paid to state fish and game agen­cies by hunters and an­glers are used in part to match the con­serva- tion fund­ing com­ing from WSFR, ap­prox­i­mately $5 bil­lion to date.

This con­ser­va­tion fund­ing goes to where it is needed—on the ground or in the wa­ter— for projects that di­rectly ben­e­fit fish and wildlife or im­prove ac­cess to out­door en­deav­ors.

The four states are el­i­gi­ble to use the fol­low­ing amount of funds in 2016: Ari­zona $25,896,359; New Mex­ico $20,830,305; Ok­la­homa $23,945,446; Texas $52,684,507.

Some re­cently com­pleted projects ex­em­plify the use of WSFR fund­ing in­clude the New Mex­ico De­part­ment of Game and Fish trapped 47 wild tur­keys near Ci­mar­ron that were re­leased in the Guadalupe Moun­tains inside the Lin­coln Na­tional For­est, fol­low­ing pre­scribed burns and for­est thin­ning de­signed to im­prove wildlife habi­tat.

To learn more about the WSFR Pro­gram in the South­west Re­gion, visit: www.fws.gov/south­west/ fed­er­al_as­sis­tance

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/ south­west

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