Landmark Publication Celebrates 75 Years Of Conservation And Partnership

Friday, January 18, 2013

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has released a landmark publication celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, the cornerstone of fish and wildlife conservation in North America. This vital program provides more than $700 million each year through the sale of hunting and fishing equipment to support habitat conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation.

The anniversary publication – “Celebrating the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, 75 years of Conservation and Partnership Success” – comes at the end of a year-long awareness campaign with state fish and wildlife agencies, non-governmental conservation organizations, fish and wildlife agencies, industry partners (including the American Sportfishing Association, the Archery Trade Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation), and friends highlighting the Program, one of the most significant and successful conservation initiatives in history.

“All Americans, whether or not they hunt or fish, benefit from this program. There’s a good chance that the trail they hike, the park where they watch birds, and the wildlife they see every day wouldn’t exist without the funding provided by hunters and anglers,” said Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “In addition to providing conservation benefits, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds – along with revenue from state fishing and hunting licenses – support local economies and generate thousands of jobs.”

Since its inception in 1937, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program has generated more than $14 billion, which state fish and wildlife agencies use to purchase public land, improve essential wildlife habitat and create additional outdoor opportunities for everyone.  It is funded through an excise tax on hunting- and shooting-related merchandise, fishing supplies and boat fuel. In 2011, hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers spent $145 billion on related gear, trips and other purchases such as licenses, tags, land leases and ownership.

For example, the State of Kentucky has used Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding to re-establish elk in the state. Elk once roamed the hills of Kentucky, but by the mid-1850s, none were to be found. In a true partnership effort, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Shikar Safari Club joined forces to bring this magnificent animal back to its native range.

From 1997 to 2002, a total of 1,556 elk were captured from herds in six states and released in Kentucky. The project has been a resounding success. In 2009, the herd reached the project goal of 10,000 elk.

And in Alabama, the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park have teamed up to offer an aquatic education experience to thousands of school children. Last year, approximately 3,000 children from 23 schools participated in “Creek Kids.”

With its rolling hills, cold water springs, rapids, pools and a mill dam, Tannehill is the perfect setting to get kids out of the classroom and immersed in nature. Students learn about watersheds and the aquatic environment from wildlife biologists, and get the chance to see firsthand how they can help conserve this unique heritage. 

These are just two of dozens of examples of success stories contained in the anniversary publication, which offers an overall description of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and its role as the economic backbone of state and federal fish and wildlife management and habitat conservation activities across the United States.

Additional publication highlights include:

        Descriptions of successful conservation partnerships involving state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and additional Fish and Wildlife Service partners throughout the country.

        Accounts of diverse fish and wildlife species and outdoor recreation activities that are supported by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program and its partners, as well as the federal grant programs conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

        A detailed history of the program from its inception in 1937.

“The success of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program over the past 75 years to restore fish and wildlife populations, open access for outdoor recreation and provide safety education has been the greatest untold conservation story," said Ron Regan, executive director of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. "This publication illustrates the trust between America's sportsmen and women; the hunting, shooting sports and angling industry; and state and federal agencies that is the backbone of our users-pay, everyone benefits funding system for fish and wildlife conservation.”

The Wildlife and Sport  Fish Restoration Program  is a 75-year partnership to benefit fish and wildlife, and provide Americans with access to the outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters, and shooters and managed by Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses and motorboat fuel tax also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied jobs for many Americans, and benefited local economies through boating, fishing, hunting, and shooting activities.



Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Fireside at Greenway  Oct. 30 Erin Medley and a starry night Outdoor Chattanooga will finish our 2014 Fireside at Greenway Farm series with a special evening of guitar folk and stargazing this Thurs., Oct. 30, 7 ... (click for more)

Governor Haslam Dedicates Trail At Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area

Governor Haslam joined staff from the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation last Friday to dedicate a new trail at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area. “Tennessee has incredible natural areas that offer something for everyone, and this partnership will help protect and preserve these lands for future generations ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Lookout Valley Middle High School Closed Friday Due To Water Main Break

County school officials said late Thursday night that LookoutValley Middle High School will be closed Friday due to a water main break. Officials said, "This is an official message from the Hamilton County Department of Education to the parents, faculty, and staff of Lookout Valley Middle High School.  Please accept our apologies for the lateness of this message. "Due ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)