Maine will receive $16 million for wildlife conservation and recreation

Maine’s outdoor recreation industry and conservation efforts are the focus of a new round of federal funding.

Maine will receive $16.2 million from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program to help conserve out-of-state, manage wildlife populations and support opportunities outdoor recreation for future generations, according to a press release Thursday.

“This new Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program funding will increase resources for our state’s incredible outdoor sports opportunities and support conservation programs to protect these valuable assets,” the Senses said. Susan Collins and Angus King.

Outdoor recreation is a vital part of Maine’s history and culture, with more than one million people participating in wildlife-related recreation in Maine each year, they added.

Funding will be distributed to Maine programs as follows:

• Sport Fish Restoration Programs will receive $4 million to conserve Maine waters and more than 70 species of freshwater and sport fish. The funding will also improve fish passage research and management, expand outdoor angling and ethics education courses, and increase fishing and boating opportunities.

• Wildlife Restoration Programs will receive $9.9 million to provide grants to agencies across the state that work on wildlife research, species reintroduction, and habitat management and restoration .

• Hunter education programs will receive $2.25 million to develop and increase safe access to hunting, fishing and boating in Maine.

Judy Camuso, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is the backbone of fish and wildlife conservation in Maine.

“This North American model of conservation is responsible for the recovery and conservation of iconic species such as bald eagles and moose, while protecting and enhancing species such as brook trout and deer. of Virginia all over Maine,” Camuso said. “Hunters, anglers, shooters and boaters fund programs that benefit all of Maine and our wildlife.”

Nationally, the program will distribute $1.5 billion to state wildlife agencies to support the restoration, conservation and management of wildlife for the benefit of the public, hunter education and the development and management firing ranges.

King and Collins were co-sponsors of the Great American Outdoors Act, passed by Congress in 2020. Recently, King introduced a bill to create a “Waze for Parks” with the goal of increasing accessibility and eliminate overpopulation of national parks.

Collins and King also recently introduced legislation to create a dedicated funding stream for projects that expand outdoor recreation opportunities in urban and low-income communities across the country.

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