The Association Applauds the Introduction of Legislation to Modernize the Pittman-Robertson Fund in the Senate

July 11, 2019

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of legislation to modernize the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act in the Senate.  This important bipartisan legislation clarifies that the Pittman-Robertson (P-R) Fund has the flexibility to be used by state fish and wildlife agencies for outreach, communication, and education of hunters and recreational target shooters, including focused efforts on the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and recreational shooters through R3 initiatives without increasing taxes or existing user fees. Senator Risch (ID), along with Senator Cotton (AR), Senator Jones (AL), Senator Heinrich (NM), Senator Manchin (WV), Senator Alexander (TN), Senator Fischer (NE), Senator King (ME), and Senator Boozman (AR) introduced the legislation earlier today. 

“Updating the Pittman-Robertson Fund to more closely align with the needs and expectations of today’s public would allow flexibility for state fish and wildlife agencies that presently does not exist. Without increasing taxes or user fees, the flexibility in how the money can be utilized for the recruitment of sportsmen and women will provide conservation funding in the future,” said Ed Carter, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “This bill, if passed, will help ensure that funding for wildlife conservation will keep pace with the demands of our citizens and our communities, while still continuing to meet our traditional wildlife conservation objectives. We thank Senator Risch for his leadership and for the recognition that from his home state of Idaho to my home state of Tennessee and beyond, the state fish and wildlife agencies need the flexibility provided in this bill to more effectively communicate with our hunters and the public about important wildlife conservation issues and the opportunities to participate in hunter education programs in the same manner that we serve our fishing and boating communities.”

“Hunting and shooting sports are woven into the fabric of Idaho’s history with generations of sportsmen and women passing down hunting traditions from father to son, mother to daughter. This is a legacy we must uphold and protect,” said Risch. “This legislation will make important updates to the Pittman-Robertson Fund to ensure future generations can carry on this treasured pastime of hunting and recreational shooting while conserving wildlife for outdoorsmen and women to enjoy and experience.”

“This legislation provides critically needed flexibility for state fish and wildlife agencies, ensuring that funding for wildlife conservation will keep pace with the demands of our citizens and communities,” said Executive Director Ron Regan. “We thank Senator Risch and the other bill sponsors for the re-introduction of the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Need Act and for helping to modernize this cornerstone law of wildlife conservation which has served our nation exceptionally well since 1937.”