Interior Department Gives $2.5 Million To V.I. To Fund Wildlife and Recreation Projects
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Interior announced $2,501,621 in funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects on Tuesday.
The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds, which are authorized by Congress, have been distributed to U.S. states and territories.
The territory gets $1,173,058 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $1,328,563 in Wildlife Restoration funds. State-by-state listings of the final Fiscal Year 2018 apportionments of Wildlife Restoration Program fund can be found here and the Sport Fish Restoration Program fund here.
“Virgin Islands sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “For nearly eighty years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works.”
The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel, according to the release.
“Revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts provides funding to states to protect and conserve our nation’s fish and wildlife heritage today and for generations to come,” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “This funding mechanism serves as the foundation for fish and wildlife conservation in our country.”
Nationwide, the recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.