DEEP: 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

{75th Anniversary logo} Celebrating 75 Years of Success
A Partnership for America's
Fish and Wildlife
If you’ve ever purchased firearms, ammunition, archery bows and arrows, fishing lures, rods and reels, and hunting or fishing licenses, or fueled up your boat . . . you’ve contributed to the most successful effort to conserve fish and wildlife in America — the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs (WSFR).

In 2012, federal and state natural resource agencies; the hunting, shooting, angling, and boating industries; and the greater conservation community will proudly observe the 75th Anniversary of WSFR and the success of the partnerships that have made this program what it is today. Join us and celebrate 75 years of better hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation through WSFR. It really is Your Nature!
{wild turkey gobbler}

WSFR Anniversary Highlights

- How It All Began 
- Find Your Nature  
- CT Wildlife Articles
- Activities and Events
- Featured Links
In the mid-1930s, at a time when Congress was in the process of abolishing excise taxes on some goods, sportsmen groups and other conservationists saw an opportunity to use the excise tax on guns and ammunition to fund wildlife restoration projects. Ammunition companies supported the proposal, and Carl Shoemaker, former chief of the Oregon Department of Fish and Game, drafted the legislation. Shoemaker enlisted the support of Senator Key Pittman of Nevada to introduce the bill in the Senate, and approached Congressman A. Willis Robertson for support in the House of Representatives. The Pittman-Robertson (P-R) Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act sailed through Congress. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law on September 2, 1937, turning a deaf ear to protests that earmarking funds from excise taxes was not in the country’s best interest. Today, on its 75th anniversary, the program has proved without a doubt that it has been in the very best interest of the country.
{Senator Key Pittman}
{Senator A. Willis Robertson}
{President Franklin D. Roosevelt}
Senator Key Pittman  Senator A. Willis Robertson President Franklin D. Roosevelt  
From the outset, P-R projects included improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife research, and the purchase of land for wildlife restoration. The P-R program also gave birth to scientific wildlife management in this country. It has turned into one of the most successful federal-state-conservationist-sportsmen partnerships in history.
Following the success of the P-R Program, sportsmen and other conservationists sought to establish a stable and secure mechanism to fund the restoration of America’s fisheries. In 1950, the United States established a Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act that generates funding for fisheries research, habitat restoration, recreational boating access, construction of fish hatcheries, and aquatic education.
Sportsmen have contributed more than $14 billion to conservation through license revenues and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Programs, annually providing more than 80% of the funding for most state fish and wildlife agencies. For 75 years, WSFR has been driving the restoration and management of our fish and wildlife resources. It has been justly called the most successful conservation management program in the world. America’s hunters, shooters, anglers, and boaters should be proud that they have held the program on their shoulders for 75 years.
Go outside and "Find Your Nature! " {White-tailed deer}
Go Hunting
Learn to hunt or find a place to hunt
Go Fishing
Want to catch a fish, learn to fish or find the perfect fishing spot?
Go Shooting
Take aim at a shooting range
Go Boating
Head out on the water! Register your boat, get your boating license, and find places to boat
Buy a License
Hunters and anglers can purchase licenses on-line or at DEEP Headquarters, select vendors, and local town halls
Find out about fish and wildlife projects in Connecticut that have been funded by the Federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program by reading articles in Connecticut Wildlife Magazine:
Check this section throughout 2012 to find out about different activities and events related to the 75th Anniversary celebration. Let us know if your organization is holding an event that highlights the anniversary by emailing (put "75th Anniversary" in the subject line).
{Crafts at Hunting & Fishing Day}     {TIP Trailer at Hunting & Fishing Day}
Kids can participate in various fish and wildlife crafts and activities at CT Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day.
DEEP staff, including EnCon Police Officers, are available to answer questions and interact with Hunting & Fishing Day attendees.  
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state fish and wildlife agencies, and a variety of conservation partners and sponsors are working together to highlight the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs. Check out the following featured links to learn more about this special celebration.

Content last updated on August 13, 2012.