Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CWP) Director Bob Broscheid accepted a check for $29 million from the U.S. Department of Interior, declaring the funding ‚Äúcritical to CPW‚Äôs efforts for wildlife conservation, research, habitat preservation‚Äù as well as for supporting hunting and fishing programs.
The check was presented by Downey Magallanes, deputy chief of staff for policy for the Interior Department. Magallanes explained the money represents Colorado‚Äôs share of $1.1 billion in federal excise taxes collected last year on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, guns, ammunition and archery equipment, fishing tackle, boats and related items.
‚ÄúAmerican sportsmen are great conservationists,‚Äù Magallanes said. ‚ÄúWe are thankful to you for all you do. You are keeping hunting and fishing alive for future generations.‚Äù
Broscheid also praised the hunting, fishing and shooting sports communities, many of which had representatives at the ceremony.
‚ÄúThis is a monumental event for our agency,‚Äù Broscheid said. ‚ÄúSince these excise taxes were enacted in the 1930s and ‚Äò50s, it‚Äôs led to the recovery of whitetail deer, turkey, Rocky Mountain elk, waterfowl populations, habitat improvements statewide and development of more recreational sport shooting opportunities.‚Äù
‚ÄúWe could not do all the hunter education, research, wildlife conservation and shooting sports programs we offer without this money.‚Äù
The grants flow from two revenue sources: the so-called Pittman-Robertson excise tax on guns and ammunition and archery equipment, and the so-called Dingell-Johnson tax on sport fishing equipment, tackle, boats and even gasoline used in watercraft.
Both grants are distributed to states on a yearly basis and must be used by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on designated projects. They also require a 25 percent match, which has prompted CPW to seek nominal fees on senior and youth fishing licenses to qualify for the funds.
The ceremony was held at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Range complex on Fort Carson. The facility was chosen to host the event because it was funded in part by a $200,000 CPW grant in 2012 and another $110,000 grant in 2014 ‚Äì both passed down from federal excise tax revenues.