North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world’s most successful system of policies and laws to restore and safeguard fish and wildlife and their habitats through sound science and active management.

Hunting and angling are the cornerstones of the North American Model with sportsmen and women serving as the foremost funders of conservation. Through self-imposed excise taxes on hunting, shooting, archery and angling equipment, and a tax on boating fuels, these conservationists have generated more than $45 billion for wildlife and habitat conservation since 1937.

How does the model work?  Manufacturers of hunting and shooting arms and ammunition, archery equipment and fishing equipment pay an excise tax on the equipment they produce.  These funds, combined with a tax on motorboat fuels, are collected by the federal government and distributed to each state’s fish and wildlife agency.  State fish and wildlife agencies then combine these funds with monies collected through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses to conserve, manage and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats and to create fish and wildlife recreational and educational opportunities.

Though sportsmen-funded conservation efforts have focused on wildlife that is legally hunted and fished, the emphasis of the management is on restoring and conserving habitats that benefit a wide range of fish and wildlife including non-hunted species as well as benefiting everyone who enjoys nature.
Currently, there are no alternative, dedicated funding systems in place (beyond excise taxes and license fees) to help support fish and wildlife conservation.  Without the most traditional outdoor users’ contributions or new funding streams, America’s conservation legacy could be in peril.

Educational Curriculum for Teachers on the North American Model

America’s Wildlife: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Teachers, the struggle to preserve America's wildlife is an amazing tale of national and natural history. It is a story of what we can accomplish when we work together toward a common goal. This curriculum will help you bring this story to your students.

Developed by Arizona Game & Fish, this five-lesson curriculum is intended for high school science and social studies classrooms. The curriculum is set to meet national educational national standards for science and social studies and is endorsed by the North American Conservation Education Strategy.

Download America’s Wildlife: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow curriculum

Focus Wild: Educational Activities for Kids Based on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

The Arizona Game and Fish Department's award-winning environmental education program is available free to teachers. This program promotes not only a sense of awareness and stewardship of the world around us, but also uses the environment as a context for learning science, social studies, math and language arts. The program includes complete lesson plans, books, posters, workshops and much more.

Go to Focus Wild: Educational Activities for Kids Based on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

National Shooting Sports Foundation Conservation Videos

NSSF's conservation videos provide elementary through high school-aged students with accurate information on the success of sportsmen-supported conservation and wildlife management programs. These documentary videos are helpful resources for environmental science, biology, or current events coursework.

View NSSF's Conservation Videos