About the Study Guide

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  • Pittman-Robertson Act is the popular name for the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.
  • Named for the senators who sponsored the bill, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Act into law in 1937.
  • The Act helps fund the selection, restoration, and improvement of wildlife habitat and also wildlife management research.
  • Amended in 1970, the Act now also funds hunter education programs and the development and operation of public target ranges.
  • Funds come from an 11% federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10% tax on handguns. One-half of the excise tax on handguns and archery equipment is used for hunter education and target ranges. The Department of the Interior collects these funds from the manufacturers and each year distributes funding to the states and territorial areas.
  • Fund distribution is based on the area of each state and its number of licensed hunters. The state covers the full amount of an approved project and then applies for reimbursement through federal aid for up to 75% of the project's expenses; the state is responsible for the other 25% of the project's cost.
  • Non-hunting nature lovers equally benefit from this funding since it supports the management of wildlife areas and wetlands as well as game and non-game wildlife.
  • "Robertson's 29 words" are a clause in the Act's language to prevent states from diverting license fees paid by hunters away from their intended purpose:"... And which shall include a prohibition against the diversion of license fees paid by hunters for any other purpose than the administration of said State fish and game department …."
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