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MADISON – Seventy-five years ago, deer and other wildlife were still a rare sight in many parts of Wisconsin and the United States. Despite being in the midst of the Great Depression, U.S. Congress members came together to lay the financial foundation for conserving and restoring wildlife.
They approved legislation commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937, which established an excise tax on the sale of hunting and archery equipment. That cooperation, and the investments of sportsmen and women, created a key revenue source for conservation nationally and in Wisconsin.
A special web feature, “75 years of investments in conservation: Pittman-Robertson Act yields natural dividends,” uses videos, a slide show and other media to tell the story behind this important conservation foundation and what Wisconsin has accomplished with the investments made by sportsmen and women since, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp says.
“We owe a big thanks to the foresight of those legislative and conservation leaders 75 years ago, and to the investments that sportsmen and women have made since,” she says. “Wisconsin’s received nearly $200 million and the results of that investment can be seen in the great, safe hunting enjoyed today as well as in the recovery of bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and other wildlife.”