Fish, wildlife Washington will receive more than $20 million in fiscal 2014 from excise tax revenues paid by sportsmen and sportswomen.
The money is part of the nearly $1.1 billion being distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation.
“People who enjoy hunting, fishing, boating and recreational shooting provide a strong foundation for conservation funding in this country,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a prepared statement. “The taxes they pay on equipment and boating fuel support critical fish and wildlife management and conservation efforts, create access for recreational boating, and underpin education programs that help get kids outdoors.”
The service distributes funds to the 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. The revenues come from excise taxes paid on the sale of 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.
“Anyone who enjoys our nation’s outdoor heritage should thank hunters, anglers, recreational boaters and target shooters,” Dan Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in the statement.
The total distributions this year are $238.4 million higher than last year because of the inclusion of funds that were not distributed last year because of the government sequester and an increase in excise tax receipts from sales of firearms and ammunition in the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2014 totals a record $760.9 million, which includes $20 million that was sequestered from fiscal 2013 but subsequently returned to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2014 totals $325.7 million, which includes $18.5 million that was sequestered from 2013 but returned to the Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund. The 2014 Sport Fish Restoration apportionment is $34.1 million lower than 2013 due to lower domestic fishing equipment excise tax receipts.
The revenues are an important piece to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s overall bugdet. The Pittman-Robertson wildlife revenue makes up 7 percent of the department’s total budget, while the Dingle-Johnson sport fish revenue makes up 4 percent of the agency’s budget.
The wildlife and sport fish programs reimburse up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project, while state fish and wildlife agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, generally using hunting and fishing license revenues as the required nonfederal match.
The two programs have generated more than $15 billion since their inception — in 1937 in the case of the Pittman-Robertson program and 1950 for the Dingell-Johnson program. State fish and wildlife agencies have matched these program funds with more than $5 billion.
Northwest states’ apportionment
More: Get the state-by-state breakdown at fws.gov/home/ wsfr/apportionments-fy14. html.