Governor Kay Ivey has cast her signature in support of a cherished tradition in Alabama – hunting and fishing. On Thursday, she signed a proclamation to commemorate National Hunting and Fishing Day, a significant event that falls on Saturday, September 23, 2023. This day, dating back to 1972 has been set aside to honor the pivotal role played by hunters and anglers in conservation efforts across the United States.
Alabama, known for its rich hunting and fishing traditions, stands as a testament to the commitment of its outdoors enthusiasts. Governor Ivey herself is no stranger to these traditions and proudly acknowledges their importance, stating, "Hunting and fishing are traditions that we cherish in Alabama."
Through the proclamation, Governor Ivey expressed her deep appreciation for the state's hunters and anglers, recognizing their unwavering dedication to the conservation and stewardship of Alabama's public lands. Their contributions extend far beyond the thrill of the hunt; they serve as the backbone of conservation efforts in the state.
In Alabama, hunting, fishing, and shooting sports are more than hobbies; they are vital sources of funding for conservation initiatives. These initiatives are made possible through the purchase of recreational licenses and excise taxes collected on specific hunting and fishing equipment. License dollars are matched federally, nearly tripling the funds available for managing the state's wildlife and fisheries, ultimately benefiting all Alabamians.
Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Chris Blankenship, enthusiastically describes Alabama as a "hunting and fishing paradise," and he's not exaggerating. With over a million acres of public hunting land, 23 state public fishing lakes, excellent bass fishing, and one of the world's largest artificial reef systems, Alabama offers a treasure trove of outdoor opportunities.
Governor Ivey and Commissioner Blankenship both emphasize that even those who don't hunt or fish can reap the rewards of Alabama's abundant natural resources, thanks to the dedication of hunters and anglers. The impact extends beyond game species like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and largemouth bass. It encompasses a wide variety of nongame and protected species, wildlife habitat management, and the preservation of native plants, bats, and songbirds.
Outdoor recreation isn't just about tradition; it's an economic powerhouse for the state. Governor Ivey aptly notes:
Outdoor recreation isn't just a pastime or tradition, it is an engine that fuels our state's economy, providing natural resources, education initiatives, and economic opportunity."
Commissioner Blankenship reinforces this point, highlighting the multibillion-dollar industry that hunting, fishing, and shooting sports represent in Alabama. These activities not only offer recreational enjoyment but also generate employment opportunities within these industries.
For those looking to explore the great outdoors but lacking experience, the ADCNR offers beginner courses in hunting, fishing, and firearms safety, guided by seasoned mentors. Alabama encourages its residents to take part in these programs, ensuring that the state's conservation legacy continues to thrive.
To discover more about these programs and the myriad outdoor recreation opportunities Alabama has to offer, visit Outdoor Alabama.
Alabama offers a plethora of exciting outdoor events that cater to nature enthusiasts of all kinds. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events: the Alabama Coastal BirdFest from October 4th to 7th; Camping, Open Trails, and Fishing at the Forever Wild Wehle Tract from October 6th to 8th; and Forestry Field Day in Heflin, AL on October 12th. Alabama's outdoor offerings are as diverse as its landscapes, promising memorable experiences for all who seek to explore its natural wonders.
As Alabama proudly celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day, it reaffirms its commitment to preserving its natural heritage and ensuring a prosperous future for all its residents.
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