Sen. Malcolm Wallop, Huge Friend of the Outdoors, Dies

Sen. Malcolm Wallop, Huge Friend of the Outdoors, Dies
Sen. Malcolm Wallop, Huge Friend of the Outdoors, Dies

Last week, on Sept. 14, Sen. Malcolm Wallop died at his home near Big Horn, Wyo., at the age of 78. Wallop served as a U.S. senator in his home state of Wyoming from 1977 to 1995, and during that time co-authored one of the most important -- and one of the most successful -- pieces of legislation for outdoorsmen.

That legislation is now known as the Wallop-Breaux Amendment to the 1950 Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Dingell-Johnson Act. Here in brief is the legislative trail, followed by an explanation of its tremendous importance.

> 1937 -- Congress extends an existing 10 percent excise tax on ammunition and firearms used for hunting, and earmarks the proceeds to be distributed to states for wildlife restoration. This was and still is (though now expanded) the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration act, better known as Pittman-Robertson after its sponsors. The bill was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Sept. 2, 1937.

> 1950 -- The successful Pittman-Robertson Act is copied on the recreational fishing side (10 percent tax on fishing tackle), and the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) is signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on Aug. 9, 1950 -- after he vetoed it the year before.


> 1984 -- Dingell-Johnson is significantly expanded by what's now known as the Wall-Breaux Amendment -- so much so that the fishing "side" of the so-called "Federal Aid" program is now known as Wallop-Breaux.


Both programs -- fishing and hunting -- have been amended several times to expand the pool of money available for return to state fish and game agencies: It is earmarked only for use by those agencies. To date, several billion dollars have been returned to these agencies for managing fish and wildlife, and for providing access to both.


At this point, most fish and game departments rely exclusively on license and permit sales and Pittman-Robertson/Wallop-Breaux money to fund their programs, so the Federal Aid program is key to their survival.

The Federal Aid excise taxes are taxes paid by manufacturers, though of course they are "passed on" to anglers and hunters. Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association, told OutdoorChannel.com that Sen. Wallop "always flinched a little bit when you called it a tax.

"But I remember one time when I was in his office, he [said he] was very proud of putting this [Wallop-Breaux] proposal together and passing it, and even afterwards [was proud of] people feeling they were getting their money's worth out of it. He was just very pleased with his fatherhood of the program -- and any program where the anglers and industry collectively think it works, you have to be proud of that."


Nussman added, "I thinks it's safe to say that without this program, sport fishing in America would not be the activity that we all have come to love and value today. It would be a much reduced version of itself." Wallop-Breaux" is clearly one of the major reasons we enjoy the quality of fishing we do today."

Wallop was a conservative, and will be remembered for many things -- like pushing the "Star Wars" missile defense system to President Ronald Reagan, trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act because he saw it as giving the government power over too much land, and even creating the annual government "red tape awards."

He apparently was a religious man who every year would go to poor parts of Washington, D.C., and hand out money. But he will be remembered most in the outdoors community for significantly enhancing a program that has significantly enhanced outdoor experiences, and which has literally kept fish and wildlife agencies in business.


Recommended for You

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on. Bass

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere. Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

 Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson - February 13, 2018

Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as "kid's fishing ponds," but...

See More Stories

More Stories

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game & Fish 2018 Gear Guide magazine. Stories

Gear Reviews: New Coyote Hunting Rifles, Shotguns

Game & Fish Online Staff - September 07, 2018

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game &...

 Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote killing Stories

Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×