For some time we have looked for ways to protect more lands, more rivers, more coastlines. We have looked for a mechanism to get wolves on the land, more predators and creating a far more healthy landscape. Below are a few thoughts on how to make this transformation:
The Wildlife Restoration Program was created through the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 (Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act) it was designed to help wildlife and land, through the lens of sportsmen. It put a 10% surcharge through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment, it provides grant funds for wildlife and habitat conservation projects, projects to provide public use and access to wildlife resources, hunter education, and development .
Fisherman also became involved, with the passage of Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984. Through a 3% federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds to states for fishery conservation, boating access, aquatic education wetlands restoration, boat safety, clean vessel sanitation devices (pump outs), and a non-trailerable boat program.
Sportsmen have made clear they are willing to pay for their access and use. What is wrong with the Conservation Community, or those of us who love the outdoors doing the same?
At a time when governors and Congress will not consider raising personal taxes, this is the most logical mechanism to achieving our goals. While many companies may object, history is on our side: we simply have to shift to seeing this as a positive for conservation. Now is the time for us to pay a small price, for tremendous returns!
The Conservation Fund
Create a fund derived from a 5% sales tax on all outdoor equipment: skis, hiking boots, tents, camera equipment, climbing shoes…a long list, and the money generated would be placed in a special fund,= that congress could not raid.
Revenue generated would be used as follows:
• Pay for retirement of grazing allotments;
• Land acquisition;
• Endangered species programs;
• River restoration;
• Off-Road Vehicle Law Enforcement;
• Predator reintroduction on public lands.
We need to create a strong voice for this change, and it begins by getting the various outdoor companies to accept the tax and see it as good business, not losing your support.
Bold Visions Conservation is committed to this concept and continues to educate our elected officials and we encourage you to write the various outdoor companies to ask for their support.