Decline in Hunting Threatens Conservation Efforts
Courtesy of Orin Zebest on Flickr.
As the national interest in hunting has waned and game habitat has become suburban development, government conservation efforts face budget crises, the New York Times reports.
Hunting license sales and federal taxes on firearms and ammunition have long been instrumental in supporting government efforts to conserve and restore wildlife habitat of game and nongame animals alike. However the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 33 states have seen a significant decline in license sales over the last two decades.
In many states – among them Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts – the lack of revenue means inadequately staffed and less effective wildlife managment programs for deer, pheasant, and other local populations. Hunting usually generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the government, but that figure is swiftly falling and with it the efficacy of conservation initiatives.