NDGFD Receives $6.7 Million for Wildlife Conservation

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department received $6.7 million in 2005 as its share of excise taxes paid by America's recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters. Altogether, 56 state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies shared more than $530 million.

The funding is used by the department to support conservation programs such as fish and wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement, acquisition of land for habitat conservation and species protection, research, education, and other programs. The money also helps pay for hunter safety, aquatic education, and fish and wildlife-related recreation projects. The funds are apportioned by a formula under two federal assistance programs: Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration. Federal assistance funds pay for up to 75 percent of the cost of each project while the states contribute at least 25 percent.

Hunters and anglers might not realize the importance of excise taxes generated from the sale of hunting and fishing equipment - including firearms, ammunition and fishing rods, said Dean Hildebrand, Game and Fish director. "The funding provided by those who hunt and fish protects our resources," Hildebrand said. "This ensures that future generations can experience the wonders of fishing and hunting many of us have taken for granted. Habitat creation and protection provides the foundation for all things wild and free. We can't make this happen without the help of those who use our precious natural resources."

The total 2005 Wildlife Restoration apportionment for all state and territorial agencies is more than $235 million, with more than $46 million dedicated to hunter education and shooting range programs. Sport fish restoration support for 2005 totals nearly $295 million.

Wildlife Restoration funds are made available to states based on land area (land plus inland waters, such as lakes and large rivers) and the number of hunting license holders in each state. Distribution of hunter education funds is based on the relative population of each state. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributes sport fish restoration funds to the states based on the land and water area (land plus inland water, plus the Great Lakes and marine coastal areas) and the number of fishing license holders in each state.

Wildlife Restoration is guided by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 and is funded by the collection of excise taxes and import duties on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. States use Wildlife Restoration Program funds to manage wildlife populations and habitat; conduct research, surveys and inventories; and to administer hunter education programs.

Sport Fish Restoration is guided by the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 and is funded by the collection of excise taxes and import duties on sport fishing equipment and tackle, trolling motors, motorboat and small engine fuels, and pleasure boats. States use Sport Fish Restoration Program funds to stock fish; acquire and improve sport fish habitat; provide aquatic resource education opportunities; conduct fisheries research; and build boat ramps, fishing piers and other facilities necessary to provide recreational boating access.