By Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta County)
As Co-Chair of the Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, along with my fellow Co-Chair Delegate James Edmunds, we are proud to celebrate the 45th National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, September 23rd. We join like-minded sportsmen-legislators from our 48-state National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses network to recognize the time-honored traditions and conservation work of hunters and anglers in supporting sound, science-based fish and wildlife conservation.
Through purchasing licenses, tags and waterfowl stamps, and by paying excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other hunting and fishing equipment, sportsmen and sportswomen drive conservation funding in the United States. Collectively, these funding sources constitute the American System of Conservation Funding, a unique “user pays-public benefits” system, which this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
Via passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Dingell-Johnson Act, and the Wallop-Breaux Amendment, this excise tax revenue is apportioned back to state fish and wildlife agencies, including the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Last year alone, Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson combined contributed $17,720,039, while hunting and fishing licenses brought an additional $17,720,039 to fund conservation efforts in the state.