Wildlife Diversity Conservation and Funding

Despite historical successes in bringing many wildlife species back from the brink of extinction, other species have continued to decline as evidenced by the staggering numbers listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

State hunting and fishing license dollars, federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear and motorboat fuel taxes have provided the backbone for funding the nation’s state wildlife conservation programs over the past century. However, there has always been a gap in funding for species that are not hunted or fished. State Wildlife Grants have provided state fish and wildlife agencies with the resources they critically need to partially fill that gap.

In the last century, the Association has been at the center of most of North America’s major wildlife management and conservation efforts. Continuing this tradition, the Association’s leadership role in Wildlife Diversity Conservation and Funding (Teaming With Wildlife) is helping to build a coalition of more than 6,300 organizations, agencies and businesses working to secure long-term, stable funding for state-based fish and wildlife conservation.

Since the creation of the State Wildlife Grants program, the Association has worked with states to facilitate information sharing, fostering interstate collaboration to an extent unmatched by any other national organization or agency. Thet Association has helped guide the development of the state wildlife action plans and states and territories actively look to the Association for direction in implementing these historic action plans for wildlife conservation.

A Natural Investment

At the beginning of the 20th century, America’s once numerous game birds, mammals, and fish were largely depleted. In the 1930s this situation started to change. The game species and fish rebounded as hunting and fishing harvests were better regulated, wildlife areas were created, habitat actively managed and wildlife populations were augmented or restored with transplanted animals. Much of these efforts were first funded by sportsmen through hunting and fishing licenses and later by excise taxes placed on hunting and fishing equipment under the Pittman-Robertson Act and later the Wallop-Breaux/Dingell Johnson Acts. Despite these successes, many other species continue to decline, as evidenced by a staggering more than 1000 species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Recognizing the need to take action to prevent wildlife decline, more than 3,000 organizations united as the Teaming with Wildlife coalition, and more continue to join this historic effort. This coalition includes wildlife managers, conservationists, hunters and anglers, businesses, and many others who support the goal of restoring and conserving our nation's wildlife.

Historically, state fish and wildlife agencies have been on the front lines of conservation as stewards of our nation's wildlife. Effective state and local-level conservation work requires creative problem solving, including public and private partnerships, community will, ample funding, research and dogged determination to work out practical management strategies. The Association’s Teaming with Wildlife program is committed to helping this happen.


©2017 | Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

State Agencies' Social Media | Contact Us | Careers | Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Trust Funds | Terms + Privacy | Photos | Success Stories