ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 14 (UPI) — U.S. wildlife habitats and management areas will see a big bump in funding due to a surge in gun and ammunition sales, officials said.
Higher firearms and ammunition sales prompted by fears that the election of President Barack Obama could usher in a new call for gun restrictions has also meant big increases in a federal tax collected on the sales of firearms and ammo, which is redistributed to wildlife and hunting programs in each U.S. state, The Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
The newspaper said Michigan is expecting $17 million from the taxes, $6 million more than last year’s record, which will be coming at a time when the state’s departments of natural resources and environmental quality are merging.
The Free Press said the firearms and ammo tax is also used to lease land from farmers to give hunters access and to operate Michigan’s 128 game and wildlife areas.
“These federal dollars are more critical than ever,” said Chuck Nelson, a professor of forestry at Michigan State University.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International