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Iowa Receives $7,000 Grant from Hunting Heritage Partnership

NEWTOWN, Conn. - The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has awarded the Iowa Department of Natural Resources a $7,000 grant from its Hunting Heritage Partnership to help provide expanded recreational hunting opportunities to Iowa's physically challenged hunters.

Announcement of the grant award was made at the International Association of State Fish and Wildlife Agencies annual meeting. A total of 18 state agencies received over $500,000 in grant awards from NSSF.

Iowa's Hunt Master program, which provides physically challenged sportsmen with greater hunting opportunities through the use of the portable hydraulic hunting blind called a Hunt Master, has been a great success and met with high demand. Grant funds will allow Iowa to double the number of Iowa sportsmen served by the department by making available a second unit covering other areas of the state and reducing transportation time.

The Hunting Heritage Partnership was established by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearm industry, to provide much needed direct funding to state wildlife agencies to help them with programs that provide opportunities for, and remove barriers to, hunter participation.

"Officials with Iowa's Department of Natural Resources have designed a unique and dynamic recruitment tool and this grant recognizes their successful efforts and helps build on them. This is exactly the kind of creative program development that agencies in other states can look to as a model to help preserve our hunting and conservation traditions," said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Iowa's 542,000 anglers and 243,000 hunters spent $634 million in Iowa in 2001 in pursuit of their pastime which supported 12,000 jobs in the state. Efforts to expand hunting, such as the Hunt Master project, help boost the economy in a state where nearly one of every five Iowa residents hunt or fish, generating $49 million in state tax revenue.

"When more hunters go afield, everyone benefits. The contributions hunters and anglers make in dedicated, unique taxes paid and the fees collected fund conservation efforts for all Iowa residents to enjoy," said Steve Williams, director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Applications from 36 states were submitted to the Hunting Heritage Partnership and over $500,000 in grants were awarded to 18 states for programs focusing on issues from recruitment and retention of hunters to increasing access to hunting lands. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is working with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and members of Congress on behalf of America's 18 million hunters to provide states with additional funding opportunities through the Hunting Heritage Partnership.




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