NWF Reports Show Benefits of Wildlife-Related Recreation on States' Economies

NWF calls for federal funding of State Wildlife Grants Program

03-09-2004 // NWF Media Team

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Wildlife Federation today unveiled a comprehensive series of reports detailing the economic benefits of wildlife-associated recreation on each of the 50 states.

The reports support increasing the President's budget request of only $70 million for State Wildlife Grants to $125 million in the Department of Interior's FY05 Appropriations Bill currently being considered by Congress.

"We know that state fish and wildlife agencies are working hard to conserve their wildlife resources, but we also know they can't do it alone," said NWF Senior Legislative Representative for Wildlife Policy, Rich Bechtel. "Federal funding to conserve watchable, non-game wildlife is important. Our reports show that watchable wildlife is significant to each state's economy."

Bechtel added, "State wildlife grants are the nation's keystone program to conserve species before they become endangered. Long-term funding for state wildlife grants would complement the fees and excise taxes supported by hunters and anglers that have allowed states to successfully restore many game species. This is especially important to help conserve the nearly 90 percent of all wildlife species that are not fished and hunted, and for which few resources exist."

State Wildlife Grants:

  • Support wildlife conservation, reintroduction, census, monitoring and research; as well as acquisition, restoration, improvement, and management of habitat.
  • Are separate from the Endangered Species Act and are not regulatory.
  • Can be used to inventory the abundance, diversity, and distribution of game and non-game species and their habitats within each state.
  • Focus resources on those species most in need of conservation.
  • Promote partnerships across all jurisdictions and allow landowners to contribute to conservation.
  • Leverage state and private matching funds, and
  • Save taxpayers' money by investing in prevention rather than emergency care.

To learn more about the economic benefits of conserving watchable wildlife and supporting State Wildlife Grants in your state, visit NWF's State Wildlife Grants website.

The nation's largest member-supported conservation education and advocacy group, the National Wildlife Federation unites people from all walks of life to protect nature, wildlife and the world we all share. The Federation has educated and inspired families to uphold America's conservation tradition since 1936.

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