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WHEREAS, Virginia has a rich tradition of hunting and angling that dates back further than the state itself; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s sportsmen and sportswomen were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to conserve fish, wildlife, natural habitats, and to support license fees to help fund efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources; and
WHEREAS, upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and sportswomen supported self-imposed excise taxes on hunting, fishing, and boating equipment to raise additional conservation funds; and
WHEREAS, to this day, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is funded primarily by sportsmen and sportswomen through the American System of Conservation Funding – a “user pay – public benefit” approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s hunters and anglers are key conservation partners in protecting and restoring rare and endangered species
WHEREAS, Virginia’s more than 1.1 million hunters and anglers support the Commonwealth’s economy through spending more than $2.38 billion while engaged in their pursuits; and
WHEREAS, this spending supports over 39,000 jobs in Virginia and generates $242 million in state and local taxes; and
WHEREAS, National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 to celebrate and recognize hunters and anglers for their great contributions to fish and wildlife conservation, and to our society;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 22, 2018, as NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.