U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are in Gadsden County to present more than 26 million dollars to Florida’s conservation agency. The funds will go to boost conservation, purchase land and build recreation facilities in parks like Gadsden’s Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center.
Two grants under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sports Fish Restoration program come from partnerships with manufacturers of hunting and fishing equipment. Money for the grants is generated by excess taxes, license fees and other revenues paid by hunters and anglers.
FWS deputy director Greg Sheehan calls the sportsmen who make and use outdoor gear “America’s greatest conservationists.”
“Since 1938, WSFR programs have funded thousands of conservation projects nationwide, including several right here at the Joe Budd Complex. FWC has use d these funds to support the purchase of lands, the construction of boat ramps, and ongoing management needs here at the Joe Budd complex,” Sheehan said.
Nationwide, the grants have distributed $1 billion to state conservation agencies. Florida has the largest wildlife management area system in the country, at nearly six million acres. FWS deputy director Sheehan says about four and a half million acres of that is managed using grant funds.