WSFR Funding

Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Boosts Young Forest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) provides significant funding to state fish and wildlife agencies for creating young forest that so many wild creatures rely on for food and cover. Funds come from two different sources: Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration and State Wildlife Grants.

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When people buy firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, and motorboat fuel, an excise tax is collected by the federal government. Wildlife Restoration funds are returned to state fish and wildlife agencies to create more and better outdoor experiences for citizens through making and managing wildlife habitat, hunter and angler education programs, scientific research, and buying or leasing lands for fish and wildlife habitat and public access for hunting and fishing.

Over decades, this unique user-pay funding mechanism has made our country a better place for fish and wildlife, for people who hunt and fish, and for those who enjoy venturing into nature and watching creatures from warblers to woodcock to bears. Wildlife Restoration funds (derived from equipment excise taxes) have helped bring back healthy populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, wood ducks, black bears, and beavers, to name but a few well-known species. In fact, all wildlife that share the land with these creatures have benefited from habitat improvements funded by American sportsmen and women.

Wildlife Restoration and State Wildlife Grant (SWG) funds are used by state fish and wildlife agencies to create and refresh young forest habitat; study how different kinds of wildlife use the habitat, for breeding, feeding, or finding shelter; carry out population and range sampling for various species; provide technical assistance to private landowners interested in making habitat; and improve communications and outreach.

Other Important Sources of Funds

Other important funding for the Young Forest Project comes from individual states; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife and Tribal Wildlife Grants programs; and the U.S. Geological Survey.