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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, Virginia sportsmen and sportswomen were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries 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, upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and sportswomen supported taxes on hunting, fishing, and boating equipment to raise additional conservation funds; and
WHEREAS, to this day, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is funded primarily by sportsmen and sportswomen, through this American System of Conservation Funding - a “user pays – public benefits” approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world; and
WHEREAS, last year alone, Virginia’s sportsmen and sportswomen generated more than $77 million through this system to support the conservation efforts of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s approximately 1.1 million hunters and anglers support the state’s economy through spending more than $2.9 billion annually while engaged in their pursuits; and
WHEREAS, this spending supports over 39,100 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 immense contributions to fish and wildlife conservation, and to our society;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 28, 2019, as NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.