Mich. (PRESS RELEASE/WJMN) – July is Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month, and conservationists are celebrating the state’s efforts to protect wildlife and natural resources.
The month is aimed to promote the state’s efforts to protect Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources and the important role hunting and fishing play in conservation.
Michigan has hundreds of different animal wildlife species within its lands. And many groups, such as the Michigan Wildlife Council, are dedicated to increasing public understanding of the role hunting and fishing play in the conservation of the state’s natural resources.
“Hunters and anglers, they contribute the mass majority of funding for conservation in the state.,” said Nick Buggia, Michigan Wildlife Council Chair. “It’s license sales, and not state tax dollars, that fund these projects. Hunting and fishing also contribute a large amount of jobs and economic stimulus across the state.”
The DNR reports that the 1.5 million fishing licenses sold last year, an 8% increase from 2019; with over 670,000 hunting licenses also purchased last year.
Buggia said these sales are critical for conservation work, especially reviving species that were on the brink of extinction
Among the wildlife success stories that the Michigan Wildlife Council is encouraging Michiganders to celebrate are:
- Recognition of the successful reintroduction of Rocky Mountain elk to Michigan over 100 years ago after near extinction.
- The restoration of Michigan’s wild turkey population from 2,000 in 1960 to 200,000 today.
- The comeback of species such as the peregrine falcon, Kirtland’s warbler and lake sturgeon, which were nearly wiped from Michigan’s landscape in the last century.
The declaration of July as “Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month” reflects that July 1 marks the 83rd anniversary of the effective date for the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which ensured hunting equipment purchases would fund wildlife management projects nationwide.
The declaration also coincides with the eight-year anniversary of the creation of the Michigan Wildlife Council, which is a bipartisan-approved panel tasked by the Legislature with conducting a public education campaign emphasizing the importance of wildlife management and the role hunting and fishing play in protecting and enhancing Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources.
Licenses purchased by anglers and hunters generated an estimated $65.5 million for the Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund in 2020. The fund is the DNR’s largest revenue source and is critical to its conservation work. The sale of hunting and fishing equipment raised an additional $29.4 million to support wildlife and natural resource management.
Buggia said the money spent every year on hunting and fishing in Michigan has huge financial benefits across all regions of the state.
Hunting and fishing have a combined $11.2 billion economic impact on Michigan and provide an estimated 171,000 jobs, according to a 2019 study released by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs in partnership with Michigan State University.
For more information on the Michigan Wildlife Council, click here.
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