Hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania is a time-honored tradition that allows participants to escape the noise and static of modern life and reconnect with nature.I count myself as a hunter in spirit, although I haven't hunted seriously since I left Oregon many years ago.
It provides adults with a unique way to connect with their kids and grandkids that is healthy, exciting, and rewarding. It’s during the hunting season that many folks get to spend time with family and friends that they may only see at that time of year. National Hunting and Fishing Day, September 22, is a day to recognize these activities and connections -- and conservation, too.
With a strong interest in wildlife, comes a strong interest in their habitat.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, who in his earlier years worked for the U.S. Forest Service, is credited with defining conservation as, “the wise use of the Earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.”
Hunters and anglers help fund a range of conservation programs through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act. A modernized version of the act currently is with U.S. Congress for consideration.
The act sends revenue from an excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment to state wildlife agencies to be used for wildlife conservation projects, outdoor recreation access, and hunter education. State agencies can only use Pittman-Robertson Act funds for a primary wildlife purpose. For example, purchasing public land, improving essential habitat, and creating additional outdoor recreation opportunities. This also benefits hikers and bikers, photographers and birders, canoeists, and campers.
Since 1937, $19 billion has been spent on wildlife and habitat conservation. Annual payments to state fish and wildlife agencies have resulted in the recovery of deer, turkeys, and other non-game species, with benefits to hunters and non-hunters alike. Act funds also have helped in the acquisition of millions of acres of public lands.
“As one of the leading states in the nation in terms of hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting, Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women in turn spend a great deal of money on equipment and supplies, making Pennsylvania one of the top beneficiaries of Pittman-Robertson funding,” said Robb Miller, who administers the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.Seriously, though, taxes and fees on hunting and fishing pay for a lot more conservation work than almost any other outdoor activity.
Combined with licensing, all of this is referred to as the North American Wildlife Model. The model represents one of the greatest legacies of our forefathers.
As we celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day, we should take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to have had such forward-thinking ancestors.
Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Oktoberfest up and running.
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