WHEREAS: Arkansas has a rich and storied tradition of hunting and angling dating back to the early 1800’s and carrying forward to this day;
WHEREAS: Hunting and angling continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state 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 health benefits;
WHEREAS: Arkansas’ sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitat; through their license fees Arkansas hunters and anglers have funded state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources;
WHEREAS: Upon realizing license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and women supported self-imposed excise taxes on firearms and ammunition, fishing tackle and fuels to raise additional conservation funds;
WHEREAS: The efforts of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission continue to be funded, in part, by sportsmen and women, through this American System of Conservation Funding – a “user pays – public benefits” approach which is widely recognized as the most successful model for funding fish and wildlife management in the world;
WHEREAS: In 2022, Arkansas’ sportsmen and women generated over $56,000 through this system to support the conservation effort of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission;
WHEREAS: 867,334 hunters and anglers support the state’s economy through their spending, contributing to the $3.5 billion spent on outdoor activities in Arkansas last year;
WHEREAS: According to 2022 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, sportsmen and women spent more than 38 billion on hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting nationally, which does not include spending on items such as trips and travel or license fees which were necessary for their participation. This spending helped fuel the outdoor economy, which comprised 2.4 percent of Arkansas’ GDP that same year; 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, SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby proclaim September 23rd, 2023, as
“NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY IN ARKANSAS”
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 12th day of September, in the year of our Lord 2023.