Policy Options

Conservation Funding



NCEL Point of Contact

Kate Burgess
Conservation Program Manager



Wildlife agencies are responsible for the vast majority of state-level wildlife, ecosystem and landscape conservation. Historically, the funding for this conservation work has been dependent on license fees and excise taxes on equipment for hunters and anglers. These sources currently generate nearly 60% of the funding for state wildlife agencies. However, these recreational activities are decreasing in popularity which has led to a drop in state level conservation funding. States are looking for alternative funding sources for state conservation activities, including state parks. Here are some examples of conservation funding sources states have established outside of hunting and angling.

State Options


NCEL Resources


Fish and Wildlife Conservation: Agency Relevance and Funding Presentation

November 12, 2019


Oregon Task Force on Funding for Fish, Wildlife, And Related Outdoor Recreation Presentation

August 27, 2017

Online Resources

Western States Conservation Scorecard - Center for Western Priorities

An analysis of lands and energy policy across Western states.

Go to resource
State Funding Mechanisms for Outdoor Recreation - Outdoor Industry Association

An overview of existing state funding options for outdoor recreation.

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Summary of Findings from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Future Funding Study - Meridian Institute and Earth Economics

A study to develop a list of potential alternative conservation funding sources and to gauge user groups’ perspectives about each.

Go to resource
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