OCTOBER 20, 2010
AZGFD receives $600,000 grant to improve access to public lands
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve outdoor recreational access to public lands.
Game and Fish will use the funding to help ensure private landowners allow recreational access to their private land holdings or allow the public access through their private landholdings to otherwise inaccessible public lands.
“The Arizona Game and Fish Department has an existing public access program with a long track record of proven success,” said Al Eiden, Landowner Relations Program manager.
Game and Fish has primarily been using Heritage Funding from the Arizona Lottery during the past 20 years to aggressively provide all outdoor recreationists ready access to public lands.
Lately, the Game and Fish Access Program has secured access to nearly 2 million acres per year that would otherwise not be available to the public. With this new funding, the expectations are for that number to climb to 3 million acres per year.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s public access program is one of 17 such programs across the nation that will receive grants totaling $11.76 million through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program.
The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program incentivizes owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch and forest land to voluntarily give hunters, fishermen, hikers, campers, bird watchers and other recreational outdoor enthusiasts access to land for their enjoyment.
Although Game and Fish is being awarded $600,000, it could be eligible to receive additional funding during the next two years.