Apportionment of Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account
The Secretary of the Interior shall make the following apportionment from the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account:
(A) to the District of Columbia and to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, each a sum equal to not more than one-half of 1 percent thereof.
(B) to Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each a sum equal to not more than one-fourth of 1 percent thereof.
The Secretary of the Interior, after making the apportionment under paragraph (1), shall apportion the remaining amount in the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account for each fiscal year among the States in the following manner:
(i) one-third of which is based on the ratio to which the land area of such State bears to the total land area of all such States; and
(ii) two-thirds of which is based on the ratio to which the population of such State bears to the total population of all such States.
(B) The amounts apportioned under this paragraph shall be adjusted equitably so that no such State shall be apportioned a sum which is less than one percent of the amount available for apportionment under this paragraph for any fiscal year or more than five percent of such amount.
(3) Of the amounts transferred to the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account, not to exceed 3 percent shall be available for any Federal expenses incurred in the administration and execution of programs carried out with such amounts.
Wildlife conservation and restoration programs
Any State, through its fish and wildlife department, may apply to the Secretary of the Interior for approval of a wildlife conservation and restoration program, or for funds from the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account, to develop a program. To apply, a State shall submit a comprehensive plan that includes—
(A) provisions vesting in the fish and wildlife department of the State overall responsibility and accountability for the program;
provisions for the development and implementation of—
(i) wildlife conservation projects that expand and support existing wildlife programs, giving appropriate consideration to all wildlife;
(ii) wildlife-associated recreation projects; and
(iii) wildlife conservation education projects pursuant to programs under section 669g(a) of this title; and
(C) provisions to ensure public participation in the development, revision, and implementation of projects and programs required under this paragraph.
Wildlife conservation strategy.—
Within five years of the date of the initial apportionment, develop and begin implementation of a wildlife conservation strategy based upon the best available and appropriate scientific information and data that—
(i) uses such information on the distribution and abundance of species of wildlife, including low population and declining species as the State fish and wildlife department deems appropriate, that are indicative of the diversity and health of wildlife of the State;
(ii) identifies the extent and condition of wildlife habitats and community types essential to conservation of species identified under paragraph (1);
(iii) identifies the problems which may adversely affect the species identified under paragraph (1) or their habitats, and provides for priority research and surveys to identify factors which may assist in restoration and more effective conservation of such species and their habitats;
(iv) determines those actions which should be taken to conserve the species identified under paragraph (1) and their habitats and establishes priorities for implementing such conservation actions;
(v) provides for periodic monitoring of species identified under paragraph (1) and their habitats and the effectiveness of the conservation actions determined under paragraph (4), and for adapting conservation actions as appropriate to respond to new information or changing conditions;
(vi) provides for the review of the State wildlife conservation strategy and, if appropriate, revision at intervals of not more than ten years;
(vii) provides for coordination to the extent feasible the State fish and wildlife department, during the development, implementation, review, and revision of the wildlife conservation strategy, with Federal, State, and local agencies and Indian tribes that manage significant areas of land or water within the State, or administer programs that significantly affect the conservation of species identified under paragraph (1) or their habitats.
(2) A State shall provide an opportunity for public participation in the development of the comprehensive plan required under paragraph (1).
(3) If the Secretary finds that the comprehensive plan submitted by a State complies with paragraph (1), the Secretary shall approve the wildlife conservation and restoration program of the State and set aside from the apportionment to the State made pursuant to subsection (d), as redesignated 1
1 See References in Text note below. an amount that shall not exceed 75 percent of the estimated cost of developing and implementing the program.
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), after the Secretary approves a State’s wildlife conservation and restoration program, the Secretary may make payments on a project that is a segment of the State’s wildlife conservation and restoration program as the project progresses. Such payments, including previous payments on the project, if any, shall not be more than the United States pro rata share of such project. The Secretary, under such regulations as he may prescribe, may advance funds representing the United States pro rata share of a project that is a segment of a wildlife conservation and restoration program, including funds to develop such program.
(B) Not more than 10 percent of the amounts apportioned to each State under this section for a State’s wildlife conservation and restoration program may be used for wildlife-associated recreation.
(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” shall include the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(Sept. 2, 1937, ch. 899, § 4, 50 Stat. 918; 1939 Reorg. Plan No. II, § 4(f), eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2731, 53 Stat. 1433; July 24, 1946, ch. 605, § 1, 60 Stat. 656; Pub. L. 91–503, title I, § 102, Oct. 23, 1970, 84 Stat. 1098; Pub. L. 92–558, title I, § 101(b), Oct. 25, 1972, 86 Stat. 1172; Pub. L. 94–273, § 4(1), Apr. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 377; Pub. L. 99–396, § 8(b), Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 839; Pub. L. 101–233, § 7(a)(2), Dec. 13, 1989, 103 Stat. 1975; Pub. L. 106–408, title I, § 111(a), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1763; Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title IX, § 902(e)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2762, 2762A–121; Pub. L. 116–94, div. P, title V, § 501(d), Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3192.)