Record amount set for federal dollars on firearms reimbursement
Activated by record sales of firearms and ammunition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reporting that another record has been set: $1.5 billion for disbursement to states and U.S. territories in grant money for fish and wildlife programs as well as such other items as shooting ranges and hunter education.
This $1.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2022 is nearly $500 million more than was dispersed in Fiscal Year 2021, which itself was some $121 million more than was distributed in Fiscal Year 2020.
Ohio will be a beneficiary of the excise tax-based largesse, too.
The program exists via taxes levied on firearms, ammunition, and some archery tackle under the banner commonly referred to by its Congressional origin: the Pittman-Roberson Act for hunting/shooting-related items.
For fishing-associated projects, money comes from the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux funds, and supported by excise taxes on fishing tackle and a portion of the federal gasoline tax.
Collectively, the two entities are known as the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
Monies are distributed through grants for approved project reimbursement, and are based on the number of either hunting or fishing license sold in a state as well as the state’s size.
The Fiscal Year 2022 final apportionment for Wildlife Restoration Fund totals nearly $1.12 billion. That figure is markedly more than the rounded-off $678.89 million awarded in Fiscal 2021, and considerably more than the $601.83 million presented in Fiscal 2020.
However and interestingly, the Fiscal Year 2022 total outlay for Sport Fish Restoration is actually down from that awarded in Fiscal Year 2021: $399.66 million verses $414.26 million.
In Fiscal Year 2020, the figure was $369.73 million.
Ohio’s share of the Fiscal Year 2022 Restoration Aid pot includes $7.86 million for Sport Fish Restoration initiatives and $21.92 million for Wildlife Restoration initiatives. In Fiscal 2021, those figures were $8.14 million and $13.51 million, respectively.
Just for some comparison for Fiscal Year 2022, Texas will collected $19.98 million for Sport Fish Restoration and another $51.09 million in Wildlife Restoration funds.
At the opposite end, in Fiscal 2022, several U.S. territories will each get $1.86 million in Wildlife Restoration aid money (the District of Columbia will get none), and $1.33 million in Fish Restoration money, including for Washington D.C.