September 21, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC — State fish and wildlife agencies nationwide will host National Hunting and Fishing Day events on Saturday, Sept. 22 to connect more Americans to wildlife-related recreational opportunities and raise awareness of sportsmen and women-funded conservation.
Within the U.S., state-based fish and wildlife conservation is funded primarily through the purchase of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and through federal excise taxes collected from the sale of hunting, target shooting, and fishing equipment and motor boat fuels. Today, state agencies receive the bulk of their total operating and program budgets from these sources to manage healthy fish and wildlife resources. Without a dedicated funding source and few other funding options for fish and wildlife agencies, hunters, archers, recreational shooters, anglers, boaters and trappers continue to be the primary support for state-by-state conservation efforts.
In 2012, states agencies are commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which through license revenues and excise taxes on gear, contribute more than $1.7 billion dollars to state agencies annually for fisheries and wildlife restoration and management; hunter, angler and boater access; and hunter and boater safety education.
Wildlife-based activities, such as hunting, fishing, viewing and photography provide Americans with millions of days of outdoor recreation each year and generate billions of dollars for the economy. According to preliminary results from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 91 million Americans spent more than $145 billion dollars in 2011 on wildlife-related activities. The Survey also indicates an 11 percent increase in the number of people who fished in 2011 than in 2006, and a nine percent increase in the number of hunters.
“On National Hunting and Fishing Day, I encourage everyone who appreciates the outdoors to participate in a state-sponsored fishing, recreational shooting sports or hunting event,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “Share in the pride and celebrate the significant contributions hunters and anglers have made to support the overall conservation of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources.”
National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created to commemorate conservation successes funded by hunters and anglers, which benefits all who enjoy wildlife and wild places. The annual celebration, led by Wonders of Wildlife, the nation’s only hunting- and fishing-focused museum, promotes and builds public support for outdoor lifestyles. National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed on the fourth Saturday of every September. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is proud to be an official partner for National Hunting and Fishing Day.
For more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day or to find a list of state-sponsored events, visit www.nhfday.org or like it on Facebook/nhfday. For additional information about the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, go to www.wsfr75.com.
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