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More Than 1,300 Acres Bought in Indiana with Wildlife-Restoration Money

Indiana was able to set 1,330 acres aside last year for wildlife habitat with federal wildlife restoration money. (Lorie Tuter)
Indiana was able to set 1,330 acres aside last year for wildlife habitat with federal wildlife restoration money. (Lorie Tuter)
March 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS - Money from taxes on guns, ammunition and fishing equipment is being doled out to all 50 states to be used to help protect fishing, hunting and wildlife areas. Indiana's share is close to $17 million.

Over the past several years, said Jim Hodgson, Midwestern Division chief for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, the money has supported important land acquisition, a new archery range and improved boater access among other things.

"Whitetail deer research and the whitetail deer management and habitat restoration for whitetail deer," he said. "These funds, for example, were used to purchase large parts of the tract at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area to provide upland bird habitat and aquatic bird habitat."

With the money last year, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources purchased more than 1,300 acres of wildlife habitat. In all this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing $1.1 billion, collected through hunting and fishing taxes.

The money goes out to all 50 states, and Hodgson said wildlife would suffer without it. When the program began decades ago, he said, some species were being over-hunted.

"Even common species that we typically think of now on our landscape, like white-tailed deer and wild turkeys - these species were almost nonexistent," he said.

Out of all the states, Alaska got the most money, totaling $47 million, but Midwestern states such as Michigan and Minnesota got huge chunks of the funding, with both receiving more than $30 million.

Information about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is online at wsfrprograms.fws.gov.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN