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Public Wildlife Agencies Manage Our Wildlife Resources

Furbearer management programs in the United States and Canada are primarily conducted by state and provincial wildlife agencies. Current management programs respond to and respect the diversity of people and cultures and their values toward wildlife resources. In the United States, most funding for furbearer management comes from two sources: hunting and trapping license revenues, and federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment (federal aid). Most wildlife management is not funded with general tax dollars. Federal aid - now amounting to over 30 million dollars per year among the 13 northeastern states - has been provided since passage of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act) in 1937. Federal funds and the assistance of certain federal agencies are also available for wildlife damage management programs within each state.

State and provincial wildlife agencies manage furbearer populations for the benefit of a public with diverse opinions. Wildlife managers must therefore balance many objectives simultaneously. These objectives include preserving or sustaining furbearer populations for their biological, ecological, economic, aesthetic and subsistence values, as well as for recreational, scientific and educational purposes. It is sometimes necessary to reduce furbearer populations to curtail property damage or habitat degradation, or to increase furbearer populations to restore species to areas where they have been extirpated.

Professional wildlife biologists meet the public's objectives by monitoring and evaluating the status of furbearer populations on a regular basis, and responding with appropriate management options.

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