U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke this week 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. Mississippi will receive $11.9 million for wildlife conservation and $3.9 million for sport fishing restoration.
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.
The announcement was made during day one of a four-day trip across the Northeast.
“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, fishers, recreationalists, and conservationists.”
Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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, serves as the bedrock of wildlife conservation in our country,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Jim Kurth.