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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:20am - 10:40am
CONSERVATION COLLABORATION & GENERAL WILDLIFE: The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program: 80 Years of Conservation Success

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AUTHORS. Hanna Kruckman, Kyle Daly, Craig Kelling, Jessica Piispanen, Fabian Romero, Ann Schneider, Abbey Kucera - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program is the most successful conservation program in the country and arguably the world.  Each year billions of dollars are distributed to State fish and wildlife agencies to fund on-the-ground wildlife, fisheries, and habitat conservation, management, and research.  In addition, WSFR spends millions of dollars annually on land acquisition, hunter and aquatic education, and public access.  The success of this program is founded on a user-pay, user-benefit model in which hunters and anglers purchase associated equipment as well as motor boat fuel. Manufacturers of that equipment pay an excise tax, which is collected and distributed to State fish and wildlife agencies for the benefit of fish and wildlife resources. This creates better fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the public.  Although the WSFR Program has continued to thrive for the past 80 years, as stewards of our natural resources it is important to reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and how we should proceed to ensure fish and wildlife are conserved for future generations.  With changing user groups and demographics, understanding the role this program plays in agencies, organizations, and universities is imperative to its continued success.   Sharing the successes of this program while working to adapt and remain relevant in a changing society will require the collaboration and partnership of all who support, enjoy, and work for our nation’s natural resources.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST