Skip to main content

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.


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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

Learn more about two new Elite Archery bows, the Enkore and Remedy, two new broadhead from Slick Trick and a new site from Custom Bow Equipment (CBE).

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021 are several hunter-defined products, such as the Excalibur TwinStrike Crossbow, BowTech Solution and Solution SS Bows, TightSpot Pivot 2.5 Quiver, Ripcord Cage and Code Red X arrowrests, and Black Gold Pro FX and Pro Hunter HD sights.

Get on Board: Species for Beginner Anglers

Get on Board: Species for Beginner Anglers

With so many people turning to fishing as a way to escape the stress and challenges that have arisen in recent months, we've teamed up with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to explore some of the freshwater fish species you can target if you're just getting on board with fishing. #TheWaterIsOpen #GetOnBoard

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and other hot dishes.Canned Venison Recipe Wild Game

Canned Venison Recipe

Raschell Rule - January 15, 2021

Enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and other hot dishes.

Check out some of the compound bows from this year's ATA Show.First Look at New Compound Bows for 2021 ATA Show

First Look at New Compound Bows for 2021

Game and Fish Staff - January 14, 2021

Check out some of the compound bows from this year's ATA Show.

There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs.New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2021 ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2021

Lynn Burkhead - January 11, 2021

There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs.

It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads.Turning .30-30; It's Better Than Ever SHOT Show

Turning .30-30; It's Better Than Ever

Richard Mann - October 27, 2020

It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Some folks just don't know a good buck when they see one.When the Grandstander Shows Up at the Weigh Station Whitetail

When the Grandstander Shows Up at the Weigh Station

Jeff Johnston - January 21, 2021

Some folks just don't know a good buck when they see one.

Midwestern turkey hunters and others are hitting the woods. So are a variety of harmful tick species.Tick Talk: What You Need to Know Pre-Hunt Conservation & Politics

Tick Talk: What You Need to Know Pre-Hunt

Patrick Durkin - May 14, 2020

Midwestern turkey hunters and others are hitting the woods. So are a variety of harmful tick...

Perspective from the opening day of deer season.Taking a Stand: Old and New Ways Can Both Be Right Whitetail

Taking a Stand: Old and New Ways Can Both Be Right

Jeff Johnston - December 17, 2020

Perspective from the opening day of deer season.

What can a veteran bowhunter learn by taking a shooting course for riflemen? Turns out, plenty.Dyed-in-Wool Bowhunter Learns Lessons of Long-Range Rifle Shooting Hunting How-To

Dyed-in-Wool Bowhunter Learns Lessons of Long-Range Rifle Shooting

Dr. Todd A. Kuhn

What can a veteran bowhunter learn by taking a shooting course for riflemen? Turns out, plenty.

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now