Hunters and Anglers Contributed Nearly $1 Billion to Conservation Last Year

March 20, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) recently announced in a press release that “America’s sportsmen and sportswomen generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes last year that support state conservation programs.” These excise taxes, generated by hunting, shooting, angling, boating and outdoors-related purchases via the Pittman-Robertson Act and the Dingell-Johnson Act, are distributed to the states to carry out critical conservation programs and projects.

“Our conservation model is funded and supported by America’s hunters, shooters, anglers, boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts. These stewards of conservation generated nearly a billion dollars last year alone and make our country's conservation legacy the envy of the world,” Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in the release.

To date, $22.9 billion in excise tax revenue has been apportioned to state for conservation and recreation projects. State agencies have added $7.6 billion in matched funds – primarily from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

“These grants are the epitome of the great things that can happen when industry, hunters and anglers, and state and federal governments work together,” said U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “As the administrator of these grants, the Fish and Wildlife Service is the linchpin in the circle of funding that arcs from the hunters and anglers generating these dollars as consumers, through the states as conservation managers, and back to hunters, anglers, and recreational users as beneficiaries, for improved hunting, fishing and conservation opportunities. It is a role we are honored to play.”

Hunters and anglers should feel good about their contributions. After all, they’re the foundation of conservation funding in the North American model of wildlife conservation. Still, we can always do more than passive contributions via purchases we’re already making. The National Deer Alliance encourages all hunters, anglers and outdoor recreators to make active, conscious decisions to contribute to state and federal wildlife management agencies, conservation organizations and local conservation efforts.