A LEGACY OF CONSERVATION
- ODWC was created based on the user-pay, user-benefit principle whereby hunter and angler license fees fund Department operations.
- ODWC does not receive general state tax appropriations.
- License sales and Federal Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program grant revenue are the two main funding sources for the Department, meaning that hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts are directly responsible for ODWC funding.
- The Wildlife Department was created as a one-man agency in 1909. The first hunting license cost $1.25 to fund the Department, setting the precedent of a non-appropriated, user-pay/user-benefit agency.
- In 1956, state voters passed a constitutional amendment establishing the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as the constitutional agency it is today. The amendment was enacted in 1957, and the first board of commissioners was created to oversee the Department’s operation.
- ODWC engaged in a strategic planning process during FY 19 to establish the direction of the agency for the next five years.
- The strategic plan will ensure ODWC continues to operate effectively and efficiently for its customers and Oklahoma's natural resources.
- The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
- Commissioners serve eight-year terms and are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
- The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for ODWC and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities.
- The Commission governs all ODWC operations and financial transactions. Members meet the first Monday of each month to conduct business.
YOUR WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
- ODWC is organized into five major divisions: Administration, Fisheries, Information and Education, Law Enforcement and Wildlife.
- More than 350 full-time employees, including more than 100 game wardens and more than 150 Fish and Wildlife personnel.
- Headquarters located in State Capitol complex in Oklahoma City.
- Offices statewide in Byron, Caddo, Higgins, Holdenville, Jenks, Lawton, Norman, Ponca City, Porter and Woodward.
- State fish hatcheries in Byron, Durant, Holdenville and Lawton.
- More than 70 public hunting and fishing areas.
- Manages more than 1.4 million acres available to hunters and anglers.
- Owns over 330,000 acres.
HOW TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION
- Buy a hunting or fishing license
- Buy a wildlife conservation license plate for your vehicle
- Take someone hunting or fishing
- Donate to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation
DEPARTMENT EXPENDITURES - $56.86 million
- Fisheries Division: $10.43 million - (18.35% of total budget)
- Wildlife Division: $12.46 million - (21.92% of total budget)
- Law Enforcement Division: $10.9 million - (19.18% of total budget)
- Administration Division: $8.27 million - (14.55% of total budget)
- Information and Education Division: $3.49 million - (6.15% of total budget)
- Capital Expenditures: $11.29 million - (19.86% of total budget)
DEPARTMENT REVENUE - $65.22 million
The Department remains a non-appropriated, user-pay/user-benefit agency that is funded either directly or indirectly by hunting and fishing license sales.
- Annual License Sales: $20.15 million
- Federal Wildlife & Sportfish Restoration Grants: $21.75 million
- Interest Income: $7.6 million
- Other Wildlife Sales: $3.31 million
- Agriculture & Oil Leases: $1.62 million
- Miscellaneous Income: $11.52 million
LICENSE SALES - $20.15 million
Expenditures are often lower than revenues due to the fact that in some cases budgeted projects are not completed within a fiscal year due to weather, logistical items, or other unforeseen issues, in which case the funding is rolled over to the next fiscal year for project completion. The Wildlife Department works hard to spend sportsmen's dollars as efficiently and effectively as possible. For more detailed information visit the Wildlife Department's Accountability Initiative web page or log on to the Oklahoma Checkbook for details on revenues and expenditures across state government.
LIFETIME LICENSE TRUST ACCOUNT
- Revenue from lifetime license sales is placed in the Lifetime License Trust Fund. The principal cannot be spent, but interest investment income can be used for ODWC operations.
- ODWC sold its first lifetime combination hunting/fishing license in 1969 for $150.
- ODWC has sold over 250,000 lifetime licenses since the first one was sold in 1969.
- More than 50 percent of all ODWC licensed hunters/anglers hold lifetime licenses and no longer buy annual licenses.
OKLAHOMA IS AN OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND
Oklahoma is one of the most ecologically diverse states in the nation, with more than 760 species of wildlife found in the state, including:
- More than 350 bird species.
- More than 100 mammal species.
- More than 170 fish species.
- More than 1 million surface acres of water.
- About 1,120 square miles of lakes and ponds.
- About 11,600 miles of shoreline, greater than the lengths of the continental United States’ Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.
- About 78,500 miles of rivers and streams.