The state Department of Environmental Conservation is receiving a record $20.5 million in federal aid for wildlife conservation because of a surge in gun sales nationwide.
On March 25, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service certified that New York is receiving $6 million more than it did in 2013—and twice what it was in 2012, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is a federal program that doles out aid to states from an excise tax on manufacturers of guns, ammunition, archery equipment and even fishing gear. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wildlife Restoration Act into law on Sept. 2, 1937, at his home in Hyde Park, Dutchess County.
So when there is higher sales, more money goes to the states. And in recent years, gun sales in particular have soared because of tougher laws across the country, including in New York.
New York, though, stopped providing gun statistics, citing the gun-control law passed last year.
The federal aid is based on a formula that incorporates a state’s total land area and number of paid hunting license holders. Each state can’t receive more than 5 percent of the pot.
The money, the agency said, is used to: manage wildlife populations, conduct habitat research, acquire wildlife habitat, enhance wildlife habitat and public hunting access, carry out surveys and inventories, administer hunter education programs, and construct and maintain shooting and archery ranges.
It’s unclear what the DEC will do with the extra money, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported, because the state must match 25 percent of what it spends.
Here’s the breakdown by state: