Interior Gives $2.5 Million to Virgin Islands Sportsmen and to Support Conservation

The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced $2,501,621 in funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) Act. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds, which are authorized by Congress, have been distributed to U.S. states and territories.

V.I. apportionments include $1,173,058 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $1,328,563 in Wildlife Restoration funds.

“Virgin Islands sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists, and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

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“For nearly 80 years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has [been] generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works,” said Zinke.

The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows, ammunition, sport fishing tackle, some boat engines and small engine fuel.

“Revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts provides funding to states to protect and conserve our nation’s fish and wildlife heritage today and for generations to come,” said Virgil Moore, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game.

For more information about the WSFR program, visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.

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