Congressman Fulcher’s RETURN Act could defund wildlife conservation.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act is a foundation of America’s highly successful wildlife conservation model. It also funds hunter education and outreach, giving our children the opportunity to learn about wildlife, safety, and our lands and waters. Idaho has received nearly $265M since 1939, including $21M in fiscal year 2022 alone. These funds represent around 15% of Idaho Fish & Game’s budget. The Pittman-Robertson Act has been responsible for the recovery of multiple species of fish, birds and mammals. Congressman Russ Fulcher supports a bill that would cut funding for Pittman-Robertson, resulting in a huge blow to conservation. 

Congressman Fulcher is co-sponsoring the RETURN Act, which would eliminate taxes on archery equipment, guns and ammunition. Under the Pittman-Robertson Act, taxes collected on these sales go towards funding wildlife conservation and hunter education, and are administered by state fish and game agencies across the country. This new bill, RETURN Act, is in response to gun control bills proposed by Democrats in Congress, but would have a massive impact on our wildlife. The Pittman-Robertson Act was proposed by hunters and anglers – it is a self imposed tax and has been highly successful since it was enacted in 1937. Taking away its funding would be a huge loss to our nation’s wildlife and the sportsman tradition. 

Our friends at the Idaho Wildlife Federation have developed an email tool you can use asking Congressman Fulcher to renounce the RETURN Act. Take action here and let him know you support our wildlife. 

Taking Care of our Unique Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystem

Idaho is among several western states to receive $50M for implementing conservation projects over the next five years. The Department of the Interior and the Biden Administration have designated these funds specifically for habitat restoration, conservation, and wildfire mitigation throughout the sagebrush steppe, which is both a geographic region and ecosystem of western grasslands. The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act passed by Congress in 2021, with $9M already allocated for several projects in 2022. Projects will include things like invasive plant management and stream restoration. Removing non-native junipers and invasive cheatgrass has multiple benefits, such as helping reduce wildfire risk and restoring habitat for species such as the greater sage grouse and pygmy owls. These projects will be coordinated across multiple state and federal agencies. 

The Idaho Capital Sun reports six projects specific to Idaho for 2022:

Event – CVI Happy Hour at Mad Swede Brewing

I’m excited to share additional public lands work with our supporters next week at our CVI Happy Hour at Mad Swede Brewing. If you have questions about working lands, public lands, wildlife, or other conservation topics, I hope you’ll drop by to meet me and the rest of our great team! 

This informal event is on Wednesday, July 20th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a brief presentation at 6 p.m. If you want to know more about CVI and our work, or just want to talk about conservation and politics, we want to meet you! Visit our Facebook event for more details, and invite your friends, colleagues, and family who might be interested.

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