Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding hits record $1.5 billion

Participants at the 2019 Southeast Wisconsin Youth Trapshooting Conference tournament line the trap fields at Waukesha Gun Club in Waukesha, Wis.  Excise taxes on sales of firearms and ammunition in 2021 have produced a record $1.5 billion in allocations to states from the US Fish and Wildlife Service through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has suppressed many parts of American life and commerce over the last two years.

But two exceptions have been outdoor recreation, which saw spikes in participation, and sales of firearms and ammunition, which have hit all-time highs.

The combination has resulted in a record $1.5 billion allocation in 2022 from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week.

Wisconsin’s share of the 2022 funding is also a record, $43.7 million, up from $32.4 million in 2021.

The money is generated through excise taxes and fees on firearms, ammunition, certain fishing and archery gear and motorboat fuel.

“Hunters, anglers, and sportsmen and women have some of the deepest connections to nature,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau in remarks at the Mule Deer Foundation Summit. “For 85 years, this program has been foundational to wildlife and habitat conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the country.”

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