Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard A. Wandling


This thesis research looks at whether federal grant award dollars influence state spending on wildlife conservation. Partisan control of the state legislatures also is examined to see if Democratic-controlled, Republican-controlled, and Split-Party Status affects spending on wildlife conservation. Five states were chosen to represent major regions in the United States and to serve as case studies of wildlife conservation spending patterns. The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program is used as a case study to investigate whether funds received by states affected state government spending on wildlife conservation. The research finds that the amount of money allocated to states does not affect the amount of money appropriated by state legislatures for wildlife conservation. Among the study's additional key findings, the two Republican-controlled state legislatures, Arizona and Oklahoma, were identified as appropriating relatively large amounts of money to wildlife conservation. On the federal grant recipient end, Oklahoma stood out for its relatively large amount of federal grant funding received from Washington. Results such as these suggest that Republican-controlled state legislatures have interest in adequate funding of wildlife conservation even if it is not a traditionally held ideology by the Party.