- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana is getting $21.3 million and Mississippi $14.4 million for wildlife and fisheries conservation projects from the federal Interior Department.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says wildlife and fisheries agencies in 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia got a national record total of $1.1 billion.

The money comes from excise taxes on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines.

This year’s total is $238.4 million more than last year. It includes money not spent last year because of the federal shutdown and an increase in excise tax receipts from sales of firearms and ammunition.

The money comes from two funds.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program gave out a record $760.9 million. That includes $20 million not spent because of the budget battle.

The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program is giving out $325.7 million, including $18.5 million from fiscal 2013. The total is still $34.1 million lower than the last fiscal year because fishing equipment sales brought in fewer taxes.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project. State fish and wildlife agencies contribute at least 25 percent, generally from hunting and fishing license fees.

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