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Interior Department issues $862 million in grants

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute more than $862 million to all 50 states, U.S. commonwealths and territories, and the District of Columbia to support hunting, sportfishing, and fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.

The funding, through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, is derived from excise taxes and import duties on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, sportfishing equipment, electric outboard motors and fuel taxes attributable to motorboats and small engines.

The Wildlife Restoration apportionment for 2010 totals nearly $473 million, with more than $86 million going to hunter education and firearm and archery range programs.

The Sport Fish Restoration apportionment for 2010 totals more than $389 million. The federal government pays up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project in the 50 states and up to 100 percent in the commonwealths and territories.

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