Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Funding American Wildlife Management

A new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that only about 5 percent of Americans, age 16 years and older, hunt, which is about half of the 10 percent of Americans in the same age bracket that hunted 50 years ago.

The actual number of hunters has declined somewhat less thanks to a nearly 60 percent increase in population since 1970.

Image result for graph US hunting license sales

For wildlife a decline in hunting matters, as wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding. Money generated from license fees and excise taxes on guns, ammunition and angling equipment provide about 60 percent of the funding for state wildlife agencies.

So what's the answer? It's pretty simple: add dedicated Pittman-Robertson taxes to equipment used by Americans that enjoy other wildlife-centered activities such as birdwatching, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and photography.


Anonymous said...

or, just like school taxes which those of us without children pay, since it benefits everyone, regardless of whether or not they choose to utilize it, a tax can be applied to everyone, not just sportsmen.

Jennifer said...

How the hell do you license bird watchers and wildlife photographers?
Not sure camping, hiking and mountain biking are wildlife-centered for most people. Taxing boots and bikes to support wildlife management would get up a lot of people's ire.

PBurns said...

It's pretty easy to assess user fees on wildlife watchers, from taxes on binoculars and bird seed to public lands use permits. See

Excise taxes on binoculars and cameras has been done before, and back country permits are fairly routine. Dedicated excise taxes on tents, sleeping bags, and camping stoves is pretty obvious, ditto for Mountain Bikes, camping trailers, etc.

Texas already levies a state tax, and other states are considering it. See >>