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Archer walking through the woods
Photo credit: Ethan Collins

$1.3 Billion Investment by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Public Access and Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a commitment of $1.3 billion to aid states, commonwealths and territories in their conservation efforts and providing public access to the great outdoors.

March 4, 20242 min read

This substantial funding will advance conservation efforts by supporting the employment of professional biologists, facilitating education and safety programs and maintaining fish and wildlife health labs. Furthermore, it will enable states, commonwealths and territories to acquire and maintain over 35 million acres of land accessible for hunting and angling, while also providing access to community fishing at over 9,000 locations nationwide.

Access to public land for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation is crucial for fostering engagement in these activities. The absence of quality land, abundant with wildlife for hunting is frequently identified as a primary factor contributing to the decline in hunter participation over recent decades. The Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) movement is a crucial initiative within the National Wild Turkey Federation aimed at addressing this issue, and the funding to improve access and maintain these landscapes provided by agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Service greatly reinforces the ongoing efforts of the NWTF.

Supported by excise taxes on ammunition, firearms, archery and angling equipment, as well as a fuel and small engine tax, this funding is distributed through grants by the Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Established nearly a century ago, this program involves collaboration between state, industry and federal entities, aiming to conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats. Since 1937, more than $28 billion has been allocated for conservation and public access projects through this program.

“Around the country, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding supports collaborative wildlife and habitat conservation, fish and wildlife health, clean water and outdoor access efforts of our state, commonwealth and territorial partner agencies,” said Martha Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director in a press release. “This vital funding fosters efforts to monitor and manage our nation’s fish and wildlife resources, supports hunter and aquatic education, improves access for outdoor pursuits like hunting, fishing and boating and connects people to wildlife and wild places.” 

The NWTF shares these same values, and are supported in our mission to conserve the wild turkey and preserve our hunting heritage. These values of clean water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities and robust recreational opportunities have always been central to the NWTF and are evident in our conservation and hunting heritage initiatives.

Filed Under:
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Healthy Harvests
  • Hunting Heritage