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Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration


Almost 20% of the annual operating budget for FWP is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through its Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs. These programs are supported through collection of excise taxes from the sale of hunting and fishing equipment each year at the national level, creating a true user pays/user benefits system. At year's end, the funds are made available to state game and fish agencies (as well as U.S. Insular areas) for the expressed purpose of managing fish and wildlife resources. These programs provide over $18 million to FWP each year.

Restoration Programs

Under the following grant programs, FWP can request up to $3 in federal funding for every $1 of state funds expended. Since most of the state's share of funding comes from revenues collected from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, it is clear that hunters and fishers pay their own way to manage the fish and wildlife resources of Montana!

Wildlife Restoration logo

The Wildlife Restoration Program provides funding to fish and wildlife agencies for restoration, conservation, and management of its wildlife resources and associated habitats.

Sport Fish Restoration logo

The Sport Fish Restoration Program provides funding for management of the state's fisheries, and for educating the public about our aquatic resources.

Program History

The Wildlife Restoration Program was authorized by the Wildlife Restoration Act, sponsored by Senator Key Pittman (NV) and Representative Willis Robertson (VA) in 1937. Subsequent to passage of this historic legislation, the resulting grant program has been known as the Pittman-Robertson or, more commonly, "PR" program.

As a result of the success of the PR program, similar legislation was developed by Congressman John Dingell (MI) and Senator Edwin Johnson (CO). The Dingell-Johnson or "DJ" Act was passed in 1950. The Act was later amended in 1984 by Senators Malcolm Wallop (WY) and John Breaux (LA) in order to capture a percentage of fuel taxes associated with motorboat usage. The Wallop-Breaux amendment effectively tripled the amount of funding available to the Sport Fish Restoration Program.