September 26, 2020: Hunting and Fishing Day

WHEREAS, Michigan has a rich and storied tradition of hunting and fishing that dates back further than the state itself and remains to this day; and,

WHEREAS, hunting and fishing continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state and offer 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, Michigan hunters and anglers were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitat, and, through their hunting and fishing license fees, they have helped fund state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources; and,

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

WHEREAS, to this day, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is funded in part by hunters and anglers through the 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, Michigan’s hunters and anglers generated about $100 million through this system to support the conservation efforts of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and,

WHEREAS, 700,000 hunters and 1.1 million anglers support the state’s economy, annually generating more than $11.2 billion through spending while engaged in their pursuits; and,

WHEREAS, this spending supports more than 171,000 jobs in Michigan; 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;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 26, 2020, as Hunting and Fishing Day in Michigan.