The US Fish and Wildlife Service has published an online interactive map of 623 shooting ranges in the US
The 285 firearm areas, 183 archery ranges, and 155 combination areas highlighted on the map are operated by state wildlife and resource agencies that have received federal grants through the Wildlife Restoration Program, such as the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
In Pennsylvania, the map contains 12 firearm areas, 2 archery areas, and 1 combination area.
The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, popularly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was approved by Congress in 1937 to provide funding for wildlife selection, restoration, and habitat improvement, as well as wildlife management research. The law was amended in 1970 to include funding for hunter training programs and the development and operation of public target areas.
Funding for the law is raised through an 11 percent excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10 percent tax on handguns. Half of the excise duty on handguns and archery equipment is used for hunter training and target areas.
Funds are collected from manufacturers and distributed to states and territories each year by the Home Office.
The share of each state in the federal funds depends on the area of the state and the number of approved hunters in the state.
America’s athletes generated nearly $ 1 billion in excise taxes last year, helping support critical government conservation programs. To date, the service has allocated more than $ 22.9 billion to government conservation and recreation projects.
The recipient’s state wildlife agencies have matched the funds over the years with approximately $ 7.6 billion, mostly through revenue from hunting and fishing licenses.
“Not only is outdoor recreation one of our nation’s biggest conservation drivers, but health benefits are probably more important than ever,” said Chuck Sykes, chairman of the Hunting and Shooting Committee for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies . “The service’s national shooting range map is an excellent new tool available to the public to make it easy for them to find places where they can safely participate in one of the nation’s top outdoor recreational activities.”
Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of Government Relations and Public Affairs, added, “The Wild and Sport Fish Recovery Program is a model of how the private sector and government can achieve conservation success. This map of the public shooting ranges is evidence of the work done.
“Recreational shooters are hungry for places to practice and improve their skills. The more recreational shooters we can take in, the greater the success for conservation. “
For more information, see the US Fish and Wildlife Service website.