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Check out this SUPER DOPE Wikipedia page for some really slick legislation from the 30's!

About halfway through making this video I was like, "Is this, like, waaaay too nerdy and wonky for the general public? Like, am I making a video right now that is literally only interesting to me and like five other people?" But even if had had time to change topics half way through I probably wouldn't have done it because IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL TALK ABOUT OBSCURE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT LEGISLATION FROM THE 1930'S IF I WANT TO.

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Good morning, John.  Thank you for your lovely Esther Day video.  Today I wanted to talk to you about a really weird reason why it is worse for conservation to have a Republican in the White House than to have somebody from the Democratic party. 

You may think, "Hey, that's obvious!  Republicans hate the environment."  Uh, not really. It's more complicated than that, it turns out.  Let's be honest, both parties like resource extraction.  It keeps energy prices low and it makes us less dependent on other countries. 

President Obama did a great job of keeping gas and energy prices low by having a whole lot of fracking happen in America.  And there are a lot of reasons why conservative people in the US are totally into land conservation; specifically, they like to use that for hunting and fishing and recreation of various kinds.

But unless your dad was the Florida state director of the Nature Conservancy, which our dad was, you probably don't know about this law that's very obscure and really amazing and popular- it's called the Pittman-Robertson Act.

Named after the two senators who thought it up, it was signed into law in 1937 by FDR.  And the idea was, one of the things that makes America really interesting is that we have a lot of open space in a way that the places where a lot of Americans came from – Europe – did not.

But America is growing fast, land values are going up, wildlife management is all over the place, so the idea is we're going to take existing revenue from a tax on guns and bullets and put that toward managing wildlife and conserving land.  And in 1937, the main reason that people bought guns and ammo was to hunt.

So basically you're just taxing hunters specifically by taxing guns, and saying "We're gonna use this to do stuff that you want us to do- to protect the land so that there's still places for people to recreate and shoot stuff.  And also so that hunting won't become what it mostly was in England, which was a rich person sport- to keep it accessible to more people."

Nowadays guns and ammo are bought for a wider variety of reasons.  Hunting, still, for sure. But interestingly one of the biggest reasons why people buy guns and ammo is out of fear that they will soon not be able to buy certain types of guns, or guns and ammunition at all.  And as any good marketing person will tell you, the idea that something is available for a limited time only is really great at motivating people to buy stuff now.

Which is why, during Obama's eight years in office, Pittman-Robertson revenue went from $310,000,000 to a peak of over $800,000,000.  And suddenly, states had three times more money for their conservation and wildlife biology programs than they used to have, and they even had a hard time spending all of it.

A lot if it went to local and national land trusts to acquire new land, and of course that land has to be, like, open to hunters, but it's also not open to development. And interestingly, as the Pittman-Robertson revenue has increased, the number of licensed hunters is going down. It's just not as popular a hobby as it once was.

So Pittman-Roberts is protecting wildlife that's getting hunted less and less. And nobody doesn't like that, though. People who buy guns, even if they don't hunt, are proud and happy to support hunters, and people who might be in favor of more gun regulations in America, like me, also are probably more or less happy that more land is getting conserved.

To be clear, if you want to support conservation, the best thing to do is to donate to a local land trust rather than buy a bunch of bullets. But I find it fascinating that a surge in the purchase of firearms and ammunition inspired by a fear that those those things are going to get taken away from you by the person who is in the White House at that moment actually did amazing things for wildlife conservation over the last eight years. It's just weird.

John, you recently sent me a text that said "I forgot until just now that you are the CEO of a board game company! You are hilarious and amazing." I mean, I wouldn't – I don't know that I'm the CEO, I'm just helping make it work. But DFTBA games has a new fun, weird, silly party game. It's called ROLF, you can watch a video of me playing it or check it out on Kickstarter, we'll be Kickstarting it for the next 24 days or so. We've already reached our goal so we are making the game. 

And John I know you can't come to VidCon Australia, but I will be there. If you're near enough to Melbourne, or in Melbourne, I have a coupon code for you. Just use coupon code "Hank." Looking forward to all the people who can come to VidCon Australia. John, I will see you on Tuesday.

(from the ROLF play-through video)

Michael: Blood, Sweat and...

Hank: Tacos.

Britt: Tyrannousaurus Rex...

Michael: Tacos. Taco's good.

Britt: Just made of blood and sweat...

Hank: Okay, just blood and sweat tacos...

Britt: The backstreet...!

Hank: BAN...shee.

Michael and Ceri: Banjo.

Hank: WHAT? (Everyone laughs)