Department of Natural Resources Receives Additional Federal Funds
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources received more funding this year in their annual grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The money is directed to the department’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. Their share of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program comes to $16.5 million this year, about $2 million more than the past five year average. According to Julie Kempf, the division’s Chief Fiscal Administrator, the program is critical, even though not many people know about it. “We’re managing habitats, we’re assessing populations, we’re providing recreational facilities or areas for folks,” Kempf, said. The division spends between $7-8 million annually on those traditional services.
But the Fish and Wildlife division has received extra funding over the past few years, allowing them to work on more one-time projects, like buying more land for habitat conservation. “We’ve also done a couple of unique projects, like an archery range at Koteewi, near Noblesville, and we also are working on two shooting ranges,” Kempf said.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program is funded by taxes paid by hunting and fishing businesses. The money is shared among the states based on their land area and unique number of hunters and anglers.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed over $1.1 billion to states this year, with $201 million going to the Service’s Midwest Region.