Governor signs proclamation honoring original conservationists
Phoenix, AZ -(AmmoLand.com)- Millions of sportsmen and sportswomen across the nation will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday.
Whatever your interest in wildlife, hunters and anglers – the original conservationists – have made countless contributions over the years to the conservation of fish and wildlife through sound, science-based management. On Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a proclamation celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as recognizing the role that the state’s hunting and angling community plays as an economic driver.
Even if you don’t actively participate in the time-honored traditions of hunting or angling, it’s important to understand how those outdoor pursuits benefit wildlife. Since 1939, hunters and anglers have generated more than $15 billion toward wildlife restoration through an excise tax imposed on the sale of hunting, angling and shooting-sports equipment.
Those funds are administered by the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program, one of the most significant programs benefitting wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. WSFR funds, along with the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, provide a substantial portion of wildlife conservation funding for activities such as fish and wildlife population management, habitat management, research, surveys, land acquisition, hunter education, shooting and archery ranges, boating access, and more.
Who benefits? The general public gets better stewardship of natural resources. Hunters and anglers get more and better places to hunt and fish. State and federal agencies receive more funds to meet their conservation needs.
More than 786,000 Arizona hunters and anglers certainly are doing their part to keep the state in the black, spending more than $1.2 billion per year. According to the latest report (2011) by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation:
Arizona hunters and anglers support 18,220 jobs, ranking just behind the state’s two largest employers, Banner Health (38,527) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (32,000), and ahead of Kroger Co. (16,856).
Those 18,220 jobs generate $699 million in salaries and wages.
As a result, $132 million in state and local taxes, and another $155 million in federal taxes, are collected annually.
“Hunting and fishing are fun, family activities, and many in today’s society haven’t been exposed to them,” said Doug Burt, hunting and shooting sports program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “National Hunting and Fishing Day is a way to reach out to those interested and let them know there are many outlets for them to get started.”
“Further, what many will find is that wildlife conservation has been successful through these recreational activities across Arizona and America.”
To learn more, visit www.azgfd.gov/outdoorskills, or www.azgfd.gov/getoutside.
As part of National Hunting and Fishing Day, the department will be hosting free public fishing events Saturday in Gilbert and Ajo. For more information, including a listing of additional free public fishing events statewide in September and October, visit http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/NewsMedia/Free-public-fishing-events.shtml.
Today’s conservation efforts wouldn’t be possible without the continued efforts of hunters and anglers. As a result, wildlife and habitat management programs have restored and maintained sustainable wildlife populations for all to enjoy.
That makes National Hunting and Fishing Day a day of celebration for everyone.
About the Arizona Game and Fish Department:
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is the state agency charged with conserving the entire range of wildlife within our borders, from big game such as elk and deer to smaller mammals, reptiles and fish. The Department is one of the nation’s leading proponents of the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” which relies on sound science, public participation, active habitat management, strict regulation and active law enforcement to sustain wildlife populations.
For more information, visit: www.azgfdportal.az.gov.