Since the early 1900s, fish and wildlife conservation in America has been supported, driven, and funded by sportsmen and women. Early in the 20th Century, a Federal Excise Tax (FET) on firearms and ammunition was redirected to help fund conservation efforts. Later, an FET on angling equipment and archery products, as well as a portion of the federal highway tax on boat gasoline was added. Collectively, these funds have contributed more than $19 Billion in conservation funding to state fish and wildlife agencies. These vital revenue streams help fund programs that provide the public with opportunities for fish and wildlife-associated recreation, recreational shooting, and boating. However, the security and stability of the FET is not guaranteed. It depends, not only on the participation of the public, thru the purchasing of licenses, permits, and taxable equipment, but also on the relationships and partnerships among the manufacturers and retailers paying the FET, the state fish and wildlife agencies, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Over the past 80 years, the relationships that developed to promote conservation in our country have ebbed and flowed due to numerous extraneous factors, including changing leadership, political climates, market pressures, customer demographics, and participation trends. The constants that have allowed us to weather external pressures to changes in the FET program are largely based on the long-standing personal and professional relationships built among our partners. Annually, the FET program contributes more than 1 Billion to the more than 4 Billion in direct expenditures for fish and wildlife-associated conservation and recreation in our country.
Today’s media-savvy public is arguably more informed now than at any time in our past. However, they remain largely ignorant of the differences between the principles of conservation and preservation, the role each of those principles played in the founding and development of our country, and more importantly, the economic engine that supports our conservation efforts and our communities. This American System of Conservation Funding is truly a “user-pay, public benefit” for our country. But, although this system annually creates more than 145 Billion in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs, it is a system that the general public, our customers, and in many cases, our partners, know little about.
Where We've Been
(2006) – Washington DC (2007) – Washington DC (2008) – Mobile, AL – Hosted by Alabama Dept. of Natural Resources (2009) – Ashland, NE – Hosted by Nebraska Game & Parks (2010) – Garnett, SC –Hosted by South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources (2011) – Tucson, AZ – Hosted by Precision Shooting Equipment (2012) – Denver, CO – Hosted by Eagle Claw (2013) – Anoka, MN – Hosted by Federal Premium (2014) – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Hosted by Perko, Inc (2015) – Middletown, CT – Hosted by O.F. Mossberg & Sons (2016) – Richmond, Virginia– Hosted byVirginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (2017) – Kennesaw, Georgia – Hosted by Yamaha Motor Corporation - Marine Division (2018) – Springfield, Missouri – Hosted by Bass Pro Shops