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Building on a conservation legacy.


It can take years, sometimes decades of perspective to gain appreciation for some of history's greatest moments. So it was with passage of the 1938 Pittman-Robertson Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. While the name may not suggest greatness to people unfamiliar with its purpose, the Act has funded many of America's most successful wildlife conservation efforts through a unique federal-state partnership. To date, it has directed over $4.8 billion in excise taxes excise taxes, governmental levies on specific goods produced and consumed inside a country. They differ from tariffs, which usually apply only to foreign-made goods, and from sales taxes, which typically apply to all commodities other than those specifically exempted.  sportsmen pay on their hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies for the restoration of wildlife and its habitat.

Even more remarkable than the success of the Act is the story of its creation. It started in 1936 when President Franklin Roosevelt convened sportsmen, gardeners, Jaycees, and other civic leaders to assess the plight of the nation's wildlife and to recommend how to restore its health. Within two years, they formed local and statewide wildlife federations across the country and persuaded Congress to take action.


This story serves as the inspiration for the National Wildlife Federation's State Wildlife Action Plan Initiative. With the help of the Doris Duke
:For the singer, see Doris Duke (soul singer)

Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress and philanthropist.
 Charitable Foundation, the NWF NWF National Wildlife Federation
NWF National Wrestling Federation (Lake Villa, Illinois)
NWF Nonsense Word Fluency
NWF Numerical Weather Forecasting
NWF Native Warez Forum
 and five of its affiliates launched the Initiative in 2006 to help states implement their State Wildlife Action Plans. These plans, which were completed by all 56 states and territories last year, present a state-based nationwide biological survey and provide the most up-to-date scientific assessment of the status of wildlife and habitat as well as current threats. They also outline the conservation actions needed to keep wildlife and habitats healthy. The NWF believes these Action Plans can stimulate another renaissance in wildlife conservation.

While the Pittman-Robertson Act continues to conserve wildlife, new problems require new solutions. Unlike the previous threats of drought, depression, market-hunting, and the feather trade, wildlife today must cope with habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation is a process of environmental change important in evolution and conservation biology. As the name implies, it describes the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment (habitat). , declines in water quality, invasive species
See also: Introduced species

Invasive species is a phrase with many definitions. The first definition expresses the phrase in terms of non-indigenous species (e.g.
, and global warming global warming, the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. . Because these threats occur on a much broader scale, they are outstripping the financial resources and responsibility of sportsmen and women.

The NWF's State Wildlife Action Plan Initiative is focused on educating the public and decision-makers about the opportunities to conserve America's wildlife heritage for future generations. The NWF and its affiliates are dedicated to translating the Action Plans into on-the-ground conservation activities and to securing long-term, dedicated funding at the state and federal levels. Here are a few examples of how NWF affiliates are engaged in the State Wildlife Action Plan Initiative:

The Montana Wildlife Federation is working with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP MFWP Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks ) and other members of the Teaming With Wildlife steering committee steerĀ·ing committee
A committee that sets agendas and schedules of business, as for a legislative body or other assemblage.

steering committee
 to increase awareness of, and garner support for, Montana's Wildlife Action Plan. To do so, they are giving presentations to organizations and businesses, organizing congressional field trips to visit Action Plan projects, and briefing local, state and federal decision makers. They are also working to organize tours of habitat and state wildlife grants projects for reporters to generate media coverage. Through a public process, the MFWP has identified opportunities to partner with others most effectively and leverage the most resources. The partnership is now working on a prototype outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public.  strategy that will engage citizens in "community conversations."

The North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures

Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
 (NC) Wildlife Federation is reinvigorating the state's Teaming with Wildlife Coalition to implement and promote the state's Wildlife Action Plan. They have developed a leadership team that includes a co-chair from the NC Wildlife Federation and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. With 127 members, the NC Teaming With Wildlife Coalition is working on education and communication tools, and is identifying opportunities for members to participate. The NC Wildlife Federation has also been coordinating with several land trusts across the state to deliver the NC Wildlife Action Plan as a tool for habitat acquisition opportunities.

The Environmental League of Massachusetts and Gun Owners Action League have joined forces with MassWildlife to develop a common goal and implement that state's Wildlife Action Plan. They have also created a strategy for broadening support for increased funding and implementation.

The Georgia Wildlife Federation and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division believe the State Wildlife Action Plans are the greatest opportunity since passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act for bringing everyone together for comprehensive conservation. They plan to use Georgia's Action Plan to communicate the justification for providing landowners the incentives and information they need to conserve wildlife on private lands. This is especially important in states like Georgia where 92 percent of the lands are in private ownership. Grown to over 230 organizations, the Georgia Teaming With Wildlife Coalition involves its leaders in "hands-in-the-dirt" wildlife conservation projects and teaches volunteers that even simple actions like building a fence are building blocks in sophisticated wildlife conservation.

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF See Windows Workflow Foundation. ) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is an agency of the state of Wisconsin. Its purpose is to preserve, protect, manage and maintain the natural resources of the state[1].  have formed a unique partnership in which they share an employee who works half-time as the State Birding Trail Coordinator and half-time as the Teaming With Wildlife Coordinator. The WWF's first task was broadening the coalition to include not only WWF affiliates and other rod and gun clubs, but such organizations as The Nature Conservancy Nature Conservancy, nonprofit organization established in 1951 to preserve or aid in the preservation of natural environments. It protects wilderness areas in the United States and Canada and is affiliated with similar groups in Latin America and the Caribbean. , the Council of Churches, labor unions labor union: see union, labor. , bed and breakfast owners, garden clubs, local land trusts, bird watching Bird Watching is a British magazine for birders. The current editor is Kevin Wilmot. External Links
  • Bird Watching`s website
 centers, convention and visitor bureaus A Convention and Visitor Bureau(CVB) is a Destination Marketing Organisation in the USA which represents a tourist destination. A tourist destination in the USA is every State, almost all bigger cities and a several counties. Financing
There are two different types of financing.
, and the Department of Tourism. With over 200 members on board and a final goal of between 300 and 500 groups, the coalition has now turned to implementing the Wisconsin Action Plan by becoming actively involved in setting priorities, educating, showcasing, and undertaking grant projects, as well as providing support for the agency and its wildlife program.


The authors are with the National Wildlife Federation and can be reached at bechtel@, and
COPYRIGHT 2007 University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:1938 Pittman-Robertson Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act
Author:Bechtel, Rich; Maestas, Aislinn
Publication:Endangered Species Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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