The Federal Aid Section manages the Department’s federal funds including Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration grants.
The Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration programs are tremendous examples of true partnership programs between private industries, state governments, the federal government and the hunters, anglers and boaters. The manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, rods, reels fishing tackle and fish finders pay an excise tax (3-12.4%) at first sale. Additionally, gasoline fuels are taxed and a portion of those dollars from motorboats and small engines are dedicated to the Sport Fish Restoration Program. The federal government collects these taxes and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to the state fish and wildlife agencies. Hunters, anglers, shooters and boaters ultimately pay these taxes through the purchase of products. It is these same people who benefit from these funds as the states must spend the money on sport fish and wildlife habitat restoration/development, population management, user access and facilities and education.
The funds are used by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for:
- purchasing fish and wildlife lands and waters
- developing lakes, wetlands and other fish and wildlife habitat
- construction fish hatcheries, research laboratories and user facilities
- operating and maintaining wildlife management areas, shooting ranges, fishing lakes and access areas for the optimum use by the public
- constructing boating access facilities such as boat ramps, docks, parking lots, restrooms and fish cleaning stations
- surveying and managing fish and wildlife populations
- training volunteer instructors and educating young hunters, archers and anglers in safe firearms handling, archery instruction, water safety, fish and wildlife resources, ethics afield and introductory hunting and fishing techniques.