H. RES. 801
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 20, 2012
Mr. Young of Alaska (for himself and Mr. Dingell) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
Recognizing America’s hunters, anglers, trappers, recreational boaters, recreational shooters, industry, State fish and wildlife agencies, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for their leading role in restoring healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.
Whereas the primary authority to protect and manage fish and resident wildlife resides with the State fish and wildlife agencies;
Whereas, more than a century ago, hunters, anglers, and trappers were among the first conservationists who realized America’s natural resources were in peril and could not sustain unregulated harvest and unchecked habitat destruction;
Whereas hunters, anglers, and trappers took it upon themselves to support laws that stopped excessive harvest of fish and wildlife, established State game and fish agencies to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat, and supported special fishing and hunting license fees to help fund the new agencies’ efforts to provide for healthy natural resources for future generations;
Whereas, upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, hunters, anglers, and trappers supported excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting equipment, and fishing equipment to raise additional funds to support restoration and enhancement efforts of the State agencies;
Whereas this user-pays public benefits system became known as the wildlife and sport fish restoration program that began 75 years ago with the passage of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act in 1937, was bolstered with the passage of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act in 1950, and was further expanded with the Wallop-Breaux Amendment to the Sport Fish Restoration Act in 1984;
Whereas the combined contribution of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs to State fish and wildlife agencies exceeds $14,000,000,000 since 1939 (the first year money was distributed to the States)—more than any other single conservation effort in American history which, along with fishing, hunting, and trapping license fees, collectively constitute the American system of conservation funding;
Whereas the manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, hunting, fishing, and recreational boating equipment have collected excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, manufactured fishing tackle, electric trolling motors, marine electronics, and motorboat fuel and distributed these funds in a spirit of cooperation to the States through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
Whereas language in the Federal wildlife and sport fish restoration Acts stipulates that for a State to be eligible to receive Federal aid, all hunting and recreational angling license revenue collected by the State must be used specifically for fish and wildlife purposes;
Whereas those Acts created the American system of conservation funding as it presently stands, permanently linking sporting licenses and excise tax revenues to fish and wildlife management efforts by the States, and stand as testaments to the importance of America’s hunters, anglers, and trappers to our fish and wildlife resources; and
Whereas this cooperative partnership between industry, hunters, anglers, trappers, recreational boaters, recreational shooters, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and State natural resource agencies has resulted in the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world, restoring fish and wildlife populations from coast to coast and in United States territories, Alaska, and Hawaii: Now, therefore, be it
That the House of Representatives recognizes America’s hunters, anglers, trappers, recreational boaters, recreational shooters, industry, State fish and wildlife agencies, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for their leading role in restoring healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and other natural resources, both game and nongame, to the abundance we see today, through the Federal wildlife and sport fish restoration programs, in this the 75th anniversary year of America’s greatest conservation story and the very foundation of the American system of conservation funding.