American Hunter - October 2019 - 25

americanhunter.org [

This is a game-changer. Sure, Florida turns out more hunters
than Rhode Island, so Florida may indeed benefit by as much
as $250,000 while Rhode Island may see a benefit valued at
much less. But states like Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan
and Texas each turn out more hunters every year than many
other states combined. Imagine the number of new hunters
each of these states must train annually. Then imagine how
each of these states may in fact be able to value the NRA's free
gift at something greater than $250,000 annually. Now start
adding numbers nationwide and it's easy to imagine this ruling
has the potential to generate millions of dollars nationwide for
P-R projects. What's more, it has the capacity to free capital in
every state for any number of projects languishing on backburners. How? That $250,000 in matching funds and in-kind
contributions that Florida raised on its own that was previously
mandated for use only on P-R projects may instead be used
on projects the FWC deems necessary to support wildlife and
hunting-conservation projects that don't necessarily meet the
requirements for P-R spending.
Visit NRAHE.org and note our free, comprehensive online
hunter education course. Then note whether your state is
among the eight that currently offer it. If it's not, you owe it to
yourself, future hunters and your state's conservation coffers
to urge your fish-and-game agency to adopt it. ah

25 [ october 2019

Photos: Dusan Smetana / DusanSmetana.com

P-R, after its congressional sponsors). P-R funds are collected
via excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery tackle
then redistributed to states to finance conservation and needs
associated with it, including hunter education and public-land
range development.
However, to receive these funds, states must match federal
P-R grants dollar-for-dollar in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Combined, the federal and state funds go a long
way toward conservation efforts. But in an era when hunter
recruitment and retention are waning, it's challenging for states
to come up with matching funds.
State fish-and-game agencies derive the majority of their
funding from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. When
fewer hunting licenses are sold, states find it challenging to
meet federal grants with cash of their own. These factors are
hard to overcome. Indeed, hunter numbers have shrunk to
about 11 million-2 million less than just five years ago and 11
million fewer than about 50 years ago. Naturally, spending by
hunters also has fallen ... about $10 billion in five years.
A May memorandum from Larry Mellinger, FWS AttorneyAdvisor, Division of Parks and Wildlife, to Paul Rauch, Assistant
FWS Director, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, addressed
whether a "contribution from a third party that provides an online hunter-education course free of charge to States and students"
be allowed as a match. Mellinger continued: "Further, so long as
an in-kind third-party contribution benefits the federally assisted
project being funded, it can be utilized as match based on its fair
market value [FMV]. ... One possible approach for determining the
FMV of an on-line hunter-education course provided to States and
students by a third party free of charge would be to consider the
cost of similar, commercially available courses."
With this, a state may now be able to claim as much as $30
per student for every free NRA Hunter Education online course
completed as an in-kind contribution. How? Because most feebased online courses currently offered by states charge as much
as $30 per course. However, a state may not claim such a feebased course as an in-kind contribution because the state does
not provide the course; a commercial vendor provides it. Further, states can't claim the value from the vendor course because
someone is paying for it. The course or course delivery must be
free. In-person courses are mostly offered by volunteers, and the
time they spend teaching the class is considered valuable-that
value is what the states currently use as their basis for their match
money. Our course replaces the volunteer-hour valuation and
gives a state something much more valuable to use.
Florida-the first state to adopt the NRA course-looks forward to a reset. In a letter to NRA officials in May, Bill Cline of
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) wrote, "Even
more exciting is the news we received Tuesday afternoon during
the annual International Hunter Education Conference: the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service reported that each region's division of
federal aid is being instructed to work with individual states to
justify the value of a third-party provider providing free online
hunter education training. In my subsequent discussion with our
federal aid coordinator, Florida will be re-submitting our previous request to value the free course at the average cost of the paid
courses. Upon approval, this will allow FWC to claim approximately $250,000 per year in much needed in-kind services."


http://www.DusanSmetana.com http://www.NRAHE.org http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - October 2019

Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover2
American Hunter - October 2019 - 1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - 3
American Hunter - October 2019 - 4
American Hunter - October 2019 - 5
American Hunter - October 2019 - 6
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American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover3
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