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Federal fish, wildlife service apportions $8.3 million to Utah conservation programs

Utah will receive more than $8.3 million from federal funding programs to support fish and wildlife programs. The funding comes from over $530 million in excise taxes paid by America's recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters.

State and territory agencies have been instructed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use the money to support conservation programs such as fish and wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement, acquisition of land for habitat conservation and species protection, research, education and other programs. Funds will also help pay for hunter safety, aquatic education and fish and wildlife-related recreation projects.

Two federal assistance programs, the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Recreation Fund and the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund establish formulas for apportioning federal money to each state or territory. The Dingell-Johnson fund ranks Utah 26th among 56 states and territories receiving funding. The Pittman-Robertson fund ranks Utah 34th among 55 states and territories.

"The federal assistance in sport fish and wildlife restoration programs reflect the deep commitment our nation's hunters, sport-shooters, anglers and boaters have to conserving fish and wildlife in their habitat," said Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton.

The wildlife restoration apportionment for 2005 totals more than $235 million, with more than $46 million going for hunter education and shooting range programs. Utah will receive $3,919,659 from the fund, with $462,777 going toward hunter education and shooting range programs.

The apportionment for sport fish restoration for 2005 totals nearly $295 million. Utah will receive $4,899,623 from the fund.

Wildlife restoration funds are made available to states and territories based on land area (land plus inland waters, such as lakes and large rivers) and the number of hunting license holders in each state or territory. Distribution of hunter education funds is based on the relative population of each state or territory.

The FWS distributes sport fish restoration funds to the states and territories based on the land and water area (land plus inland water, plus the Great Lakes and marine coastal areas) and the number of fishing license holders in each state or territory.

Federal Assistance funds pay for up to 75 percent of the cost of each project while the states and territories contribute at least 25 percent.

Funding comes from excise taxes and import duties on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, sport fishing equipment and tackle, trolling motors, motorboat and small engine fuels, and pleasure boats.

More information about each of state or territory's apportionment is available at the the FWS Division of Federal Assistance website at

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