Funding Sources for Access Programs

Existing funding for hunter access programs is heavily weighted towards hunting license funds, Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson), and special permits, stamps and tags. State open-space bond funds appear to be an increasingly important source of funds. However, additional funding sources likely will be needed to meet the demand for future hunting access programs. Numerous studies have documented that a large percent (but generally not a majority) of hunters are willing to pay for access (see Highlights of Key Access Research). While hunters have indicated in these studies that they are willing to pay for access, they also have placed numerous caveats on pay-for-hunting programs. Nonetheless, it is likely that additional fees derived from hunters will be part of the solution to hunter access challenges.

Funding levels for hunter access programs is also reflected in the frequency of hunter access programs having separate line-item budgets. Twenty-two states reported that their private land hunter access programs have separate line-item budgets and 20 states reported that their public land hunter access programs have separate line-item budgets.