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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Hunting and Fishing Day

WHEREAS, Virginia has a rich and storied tradition of hunting and angling that dates back further than the Commonwealth itself and carries forward to this day; and

WHEREAS, hunting and angling continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout Virginia, and over recent years have offered a growing number of participants an opportunity to connect with nature on a personal level while simultaneously providing food security, a sense of self-sufficiency, and both mental and physical health benefits; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to conserve fish, wildlife and their habitat, and through their license fees helped fund state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia General Assembly established the Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund for the purpose of conserving and enhancing finfish species of Virginia, and improving recreational fishing opportunities, administrating the Virginia Saltwater Sport Fishing Tournament certificates program, and restoring habitat for species taken by recreational fisherman; and

WHEREAS, upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and women supported, and continue to support, self-imposed excise taxes on firearms and ammunition, archery tackle, fishing tackle, and motorboat fuels to raise additional conservation funds; and

WHEREAS, to this day, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and Virginia Marine Resources Commission are funded, in part, by sportsmen and women through this American System of Conservation Funding – a “user pays – public benefits” approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model for funding fish and wildlife management in the world; and

WHEREAS, last year alone, Virginia’s sportsmen and women generated more than $77 million through this system to support the conservation efforts of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and Virginia Marine Resources Commission; and

WHEREAS, 849,405 hunters and anglers support the Commonwealth’s economy through their spending, contributing to the $9.4 billion spent on outdoor activities in Virginia last year; and

WHEREAS, according to 2022 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, on the national level, sportsmen and women spent more than $38 billion on hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting which does not include spending on items such as trips and travel or license fees that were necessary for their participation; and

WHEREAS, revenue generated by hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting helped fuel the outdoor economy which comprised 1.6% of Virginia’s GDP in 2022; and

WHEREAS, National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 to celebrate and recognize hunters and anglers for their immense contributions to fish and wildlife conservation and to our society; and

WHEREAS, citizens are encouraged to recognize the many and varied social, cultural, economic, and ecological benefits of our time-honored traditions of hunting and angling;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize September 23, 2023, as HUNTING AND FISHING DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and call this observance to the attention of our citizens.