MISSOULA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- In light of the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation honors hunters and the vital role they play in funding wildlife management and conservation.
Hunting is conservation! There is no greater proof of that than hunters who successfully lobbied government so many years ago to tax themselvesall for the benefit of wildlife, said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. That continuing and ever-increasing funding remains the lions share for todays conservation efforts, too.
Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Virginia Congressman Absalom Willis Robertson sponsored the legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on Sept. 2, 1937.
The Act imposed an 11 percent tax on guns and ammunition to restore and protect wildlife habitat. Prior to the law, hunting pressure and habitat degradation pushed bison, deer, elk, pronghorn, wild turkey, wood ducks and other species to the brink of extinction.
Philosopher George Santayana famously stated, Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Hunters learned and they acted, added Allen. The great thing is growing numbers of dedicated hunters today mean even more funding for elk, other wild game and non-game species across the board.
The Act raises more than $280 million a year for wildlife conservation, and raised more than $2 billion since its inception. The excise tax goes to the Secretary of the Interior to distribute to the states based on a formula that takes into account the area of the state and its number of licensed hunters.
Revenue from state licenses and fees adds up to about $275 million a year, which goes exclusively to state fish and game departments for conservation purposes.
Hunters are the fuel behind RMEF and its 6 million-plus acres of habitat conservation. More than 95 percent of RMEF 180,000 members are passionate hunters.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.1 million acresan area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.