DNR: Wildlife division in good shape

Columbus – Though the DNR Division of Wildlife is hardly awash
in cash, the agency is still solvent enough to ride out the current
economic storm.

In its annual financial report, the Wildlife Division reports
for fiscal 2009 the agency took in $59,557,131 but spent
$60,169,315.

While it would appear the Wildlife Division has spent more than
it collected, it is a case of when cash comes in and cash goes out,
said Susan Howard, the Wildlife Division’s business
administrator.

“The Division of Wildlife is in good financial shape. We are
constantly monitoring our revenue and expenditure streams, and we
have a plan to ensure that those expenditures never exceed
revenues,” Howard said.

“A lot of times it’s just how our projects are set up and when
our revenues come in,” she said. “If our draw of federal aid money
were to have come in on time, then our revenues would have exceeded
our expenditures, so it’s often a timing issue.”

Howard added fishing license revenues were up 14 percent, and
the revenues from hunting licenses were up 4.8 percent.

Fish management accounted for the largest chunk of money spent
by the Wildlife Division to the tune of $14,231,486. Meanwhile,
wildlife management’s allocation was $12,890,708.

This, in spite of the fact hunters contributed more to the
agency’s overall financial health. Sales of hunting licenses were
$10,590,739. When coupled with sales of the all-important deer
tags, hunters contributed more than anglers. Sales of deer tags
nearly matched that of hunting licenses alone. Deer hunters were
taxed to the tune of $10,414,462.

Thus, hunters contributed 35 percent of the Wildlife Division’s
total revenues compared to anglers, who contributed 26 percent, or
$16,369,699.

Federal aid in the form of excise taxes on various fishing,
hunting, and firearms products brought in another 20 percent in
revenues, or $11,975,091.

Fines contributed $433,820, while sales of turkey permits
contributed $1,536,255 and sales of duck stamps were $355,477. The
Wildlife Division also collected a portion of the state’s motor
fuel tax, $2,134,427.

Among the expenditures was $7,228,797 (or 12 percent) for
salaries to the agency’s wildlife officers, $6,845,443 for law
enforcement, $3,601,275 for capital improvements, including land
purchases, and $4,395,624 for information and education such as
hunter and trapper safety instruction, printing of fishing lake and
wildlife area maps, production of the division’s Wild Ohio
magazine, and similar expenses.

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