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Old November 13, 2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
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All States set to lose Federal wildlife management funding

I tried searching, to see if this was covered a few weeks ago, but didn't have any hits. So...

The White House, in August 2011, released a report, suggesting that Pittman-Robertson funds be sequestered (frozen) until further notice. Congress obliged, and included that recommendation in the Budget Control Act of 2011. No changes have been made since, and the funds will be frozen beginning in 2013.

As the articles point out, those are the funds used for wildlife management and conservation, across the United States; and come from the 10% and 11% excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery gear. In some states, those funds are a significant portion of their wildlife management budgets.

This will have a big impact on Wildlife Management agencies across the United States, and may nearly kill some agencies. Wyoming, for example, is currently dealing with a massive wildlife budget crisis and diminishing Deer and Antelope herds, and would be completely crippled by the further loss of Pittman-Robertson funds. It could, quite literally, mean the end of affordable hunting in Wyoming and states in similar situations.

In just one example of possible impacts on a state agency, West Virginia DNR Director Curtis Taylor told West Virginia Metro News that sequestration could mean a loss of $800,000 in funding for game management, research and restoration and fisheries programs. Public rifle ranges and campgrounds on public hunting areas would have to be closed, among other effects. "They're talking about doing this for nine years," said Taylor. "At the end of nine years, we'll be lucky to keep the lights on."
(Emphasis mine.)

Worst of all, there is currently no way for Congress to touch the Pittman-Robertson trust fund. They can't actually use this money for anything else. Unless they repeal the P-R Act and pass new legislation in place of it, this money is only accessible by the states. But, the Federal government is still going to freeze a portion of the funds, and deny the states access to it.

Spread the word.
Talk to your Senators and Representatives. Talk to your State officials.
Talk to your local businesses that will be impacted by a loss of wildlife management funding. (Hunters won't buy gear, ammo, or new hunting weapons if they aren't going hunting.)
If this remains unchanged, it will have a trickle-down effect on everyone involved in shooting sports, not just hunters and state agencies.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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