By: Senator Robin Webb (KY), President, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses
As President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and Co-Chair of the Kentucky Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, I am proud to join like-minded sportsmen-legislators from across the nation in celebrating the 44th National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, September 24.
In celebrating this day, we recognize the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling, as well as the historical and current contributions of the original conservationists – hunters and anglers – in supporting sound, science-based fish and wildlife management.
Through purchasing licenses, tags and duck stamps, and by paying excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other hunting and fishing equipment, sportsmen and women drive conservation funding in the United States. Collectively, these funding sources create the American System of Conservation Funding, a unique “user-pays, public-benefits” model. Authorized in 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act, and later the Dingell-Johnson Act in 1950 and the Wallop-Breaux Amendment in 1984, provide funds from excise tax revenue to the states’ Departments of Fish and Wildlife. Last year alone, Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson combined to contribute $1,154,993,921 while hunting and fishing licenses brought an additional $1,507,170,932 to fund conservation and education efforts. All Americans benefit from these monies through improved access to public lands, public shooting facilities, improved water quality, habitat restoration, and numerous other Fish and Wildlife projects funded through this system. In addition to the funds generated, the activities of the 37.4 million hunters and anglers support more than 1.5 million jobs across the country.
America’s fish and wildlife resources would not be nearly as abundant without our sportsmen and women, nor would our economy be as vibrant.
The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses recognizes the contributions of sportsmen and women for conservation and the economy, and thanks the state fish and wildlife agencies for their tireless efforts promoting hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping in our great nation.
Today we celebrate the many and varied benefits that hunting and angling provide for the United States. Enjoy this special occasion, and take advantage of the vast opportunities to hunt and fish in your area. The outdoor traditions of hunting and angling should not be taken for granted, and opportunities to hunt and fish should continue to be abundantly available for future generations.
More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.nhfday.org/Page/Home.aspx.