America marks National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 23, 2017.
It started when Congress unanimously passed a joint resolution and former President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation on May 2, 1972, urging “all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in ensuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”
A big part of the success of this day is due to private landowners. For example, over 75 percent of the participants in USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) say that enhancing wildlife habitat is important to them. CRP participants receive financial incentives to restore conservation cover to marginal cropland, providing enhanced soil, water, and wildlife benefits. Seventy-three percent of CRP participants report seeing more wildlife as a result of their enrollment in the program.
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers CRP, estimates that some form of outdoor recreational activity, such as hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and hiking, occurs on 57 percent of the almost 24 million acres of land enrolled in in the program. The most common recreational use of CRP land is hunting.
There are substantial economic benefits to rural America. In 2016 more than 101 million Americans participated in some form of fishing, hunting, or other wildlife related recreation such as bird watching, spending an estimated $156 billion on equipment, travel, licenses, and fees.
So this Saturday, enjoy the day afield, and be part of the time honored tradition. If you are on private land, the owner might be a CRP participant, and if you see him or her, say thanks. Enjoy National Hunting and Fishing Day and celebrate the conservation successes brought to you by America’s hunters and anglers.
Editors note: Source material provided by the Wonders of Wildlife, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service