“Wildly” Successful Program Supporting Fish and Wildlife Conservation And Outdoor Recreational Access Made Possible By You

A recent announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shared that over $1.3 billion in apportionments will be disbursed to U.S. states through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program to support fish and wildlife conservation and outdoor recreational access.

This program, established in 1937, is one of the most effective tools for conservation in the world and relies on the partnership between the federal program, state fish and wildlife agencies, and industries like manufacturers of firearms and fishing equipment.

“The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is vital to the work that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources can do in our state, and it is thanks to hunters, anglers and shooting enthusiasts that purchase their recreational licenses and related equipment that we can be successful here in Georgia,” said Walter Rabon, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Something else that we were incredibly pleased to see from a recent survey is that even though some firearms owners and sport shooters might not actively hunt, 86 percent of them care about wildlife conservation and support the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.”

The Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division averages approximately $35 million in federal WSFR funds each year. These funds come from a federal tax on ammunition, guns, fishing equipment and motorboat fuel. To receive federal funds, Georgia must spend 100% of state revenue collected from hunting and fishing licenses on sport fish and wildlife management to benefit hunters and anglers.

In addition to research, surveys and other conservation efforts, the WSFR program supports the maintenance and operation of shooting ranges, wildlife management efforts on more than 1.1 million acres, producing and stocking millions of fish from state fish hatcheries, maintenance and operation of 11 public fishing areas, and facilitating and seeking to increase boating and land access for outdoor recreation purposes.

“The conservation work done by fish and wildlife agencies that is supported by WSFR and relies on participation from hunters, anglers and shooting enthusiasts, benefits everyone, not just the hunter and angler,” said Ted Will, Director of the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division. “Everyone in the state reaps rewards from successful wildlife and fish conservation activities, from outdoor enthusiasts to local communities receiving economic support thanks to retail sales and lodging income, to the backyard bird watcher. It is a program that adds value to all our lives and is definitely worth your support.”

For more information about WSFR, visit wsfrprograms.fws.gov.

For more information about the nationwide survey of non-hunting sport shooters and firearms owners, visit SEAFWA.org/news/non-hunting-firearm-owners-and-sport-shooters-overwhelmingly-support-federal-aid-wildlife.

For more information about the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, visit GeorgiaWildlife.com.