Laura MacLean, Communications
ASSOCIATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES CELEBRATES ANNUAL NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY ON SEPT. 27
37th annual celebration recognizes conservation success funded by hunters and anglers
WASHINGTON (September 26, 2008) – State fish and wildlife agencies nationwide will host National Hunting and Fishing Day events on Saturday, Sept. 27 to connect the public with nature and raise awareness of the American system of sportsmen-funded conservation.
Within the U.S., state fish and wildlife management 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, nearly all 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, boaters, anglers and trappers continue to be the primary support for state-by-state conservation efforts.
Through the American System of Conservation Funding through license revenue and excise taxes, more than $1.7 billion dollars is entrusted to state agencies annually for fisheries and wildlife restoration and management; hunter, angler and boater access; as well as for hunter and boater safety education.
“America’s fish and wildlife belong to all of us as a public trust, and we rely on state agencies to ensure healthy populations and provide opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “However, every state fish and wildlife agency today is facing constant and increasing resource demands; the impact of urbanization, habitat loss, and other emerging issues; shrinking hunter and angler constituencies, and revenue base; and rising costs. This challenging environment is a threat to the system, fish and wildlife species and the people who value them.”
Wildlife-based activities, such as hunting, fishing, viewing and photography provide people with millions of days of outdoor recreation each year and generate billions of dollars for the economy. According a 2006 National Survey of Hunting Fish and Wildlife-Related Recreation, more than 87 million Americans spent more than $120 billion dollars in 2006 on wildlife-related activities. These activities support close to 3 million jobs in the U.S.
“On National Hunting and Fishing Day, I encourage everyone who appreciates the outdoors to participate in a state-sponsored event and recognize the significant contributions hunters and anglers have made to support the overall conservation of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources,” said Hogan.
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.
For more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day or to find a list of state-sponsored events, visit www.nhfday.org.
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The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies—the organization that represents all of North America’s fish and wildlife agencies—promotes sound management and conservation, and speaks with a unified voice on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org.