Who doesn’t like a bargain? If you donate to conservation or other causes you support, you most likely get offers to double those dollars now and then because some generous donor has agreed to a match. A lot of Missourians probably don’t realize that each year that they buy at least one hunting and/or one fishing permit, they’re automatically increasing the money that’s going to come back through the federal government to our state for conservation efforts. The funding is based on the number of active permit buyers for hunting and for fishing (not on how many permits each person bought).
Billions of dollars have helped wildlife and fish conservation thanks to two federal laws, the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act. The P-R Act is funded by a tax on ammunition and firearms, while the D-J Act is funded by taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric outboard motors and motorboat fuel, and duties on fishing tackle and yachts.
The respective sets of funds are divided among the states. Our potential return is based on the number of individuals buying permits and by the relative size of our state. So if you only buy a permit every few years, then on the off years you’re letting some of that federal money go to other states.
Since the total numbers of dollars available and numbers of permit buyers varies from year to year, there isn’t a set amount of dollars any state can expect. But last year, for every person who bought at least one hunting permit, Missouri has received about $17 in federal aid, and for every fishing permit buyer about $11 in federal aid. The money makes a big impact on conserving wildlife habitat, supporting boating accesses, hunter education, shooting ranges and much, much more. Seems like a bargain to me.