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Feds announce $74 million outdoor rec spend

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke last week announced a $60 million cooperative agreement with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) to help retain and recruit recreational anglers and boaters of all ages. He also announced $14 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG), which support water-related outdoor recreation and tourism by improving facilities for large transient recreational boats across the country.

“Outdoor recreation is a key part of our American heritage, and boating and fishing in particular are how many Americans enjoy our public waters,” he said. “The new cooperative agreement with RBFF is going to make sure we are reaching new anglers and boaters from all ages to get out on the water. The BIG grants help ensure that those new recreationists, as well as those who have enjoyed these activities for years, experience improved access to fishing opportunities with safer and more user-friendly recreational boating facilities.”

The RBFF agreement, five years at $12 million per year, will allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and RBFF to work together to bolster angler and boater numbers while engaging outdoor enthusiasts in natural resource stewardship. The USFWS BIG program provides funding through excise and other taxes on certain fishing equipment and boating fuel to support dedicated boat tie-up facilities and amenities to help Americans enjoy the nation’s waters.

The BIG grants continue $200,000 in “tier one” funding for Idaho, which began in 2016, among $4.1 million in “tier one” nationwide this fiscal year.


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