Why? For the last 75 years, those who hunt, shoot, trap and fish have funded the vast majority of wildlife conservation in Michigan through their purchase of equipment and licenses. (Less than 5 percent of the DNR budget comes from general tax dollars.)
Sept. 2, 2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (PR), and 2012 is also the 62nd anniversary of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act (DJ). Collectively known as the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs, PR and DJ have resulted in millions of acres of habitat saved, near-miraculous population increases in several species of game and sport fish, and more hunting, trapping, fishing, boating and wildlife-related recreational opportunities than ever before.
As DNR employees, it is important that we are familiar with how conservation is funded in Michigan. It is especially critical that we acknowledge the contribution that hunters, trappers and anglers make for Michigan’s natural resources.
PR has provided more than $262 million for wildlife conservation in Michigan since its implementation in 1937. These funds, which come from a federal tax on the manufacturing of firearms, bows, crossbows and accessories, are used for projects that benefit Michigan birds or mammals. These include projects like acquiring and improving wildlife habitat, managing wildlife populations, wildlife research and population surveys, hunter education, operating and maintaining public target shooting ranges, and the acquisition and development of public access to wildlife resources.
DJ is a similar tax placed on fishing equipment. Since its implementation in 1950, DJ has provided more than $255 million in grants for sportfish restoration and management, public access for recreational boating, and aquatic education. Funding for these projects comes largely from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment and electric motors, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, and motorboat fuel taxes. Michigan qualifies for these grants by providing a 25% match, which comes from a formula based on the state’s size in proportion to other states, and on fishing license sales. What, exactly does Michigan do with these funds? These monies are directed to managing DNR fish hatcheries, stocking fish, conducting surveys, improving fish habitat, providing access to fishing opportunities and much more.
The more people who buy licenses and equipment in Michigan, the more funding the DRN receives.
If you’re a hunter, shooter, trapper or angler, or have bought a license:
Hunters…Thank you for investing in Michigan’s wildlife.
Share this message with the hunters, trappers and anglers in your life and thank them for helping Michigan’s wildlife thrive!
For more tools to help share this story with the public or other agencies, see the online toolkit at www.michigan.gov/itsyournature for a fact sheet/talking points, printable poster and more.
**Don’t forget to purchase your license every year even if you don’t hunt, trap or fish. It’s a great way to support the DNR and to ensure our work – which is critical to Michigan’s economy and the livelihood of thousands of small businesses around the state – continues. Buy yours today at: http://www.mdnr-elicense.com/.
For more information, contact:
Kristin M. Phillips
Marketing Section Manager
Department of Natural Resources
Do you hunt, trap or fish in Michigan?
Thank you for investing in Michigan’s natural resources. www.michigan.gov/itsyournature