GFP News - October 12, 2012

Governor Proclaims Wildlife And Sport Fish Restoration Day

PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Dennis Daugaard has issued an executive proclamation dedicating Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, as Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Day in South Dakota.

The proclamation honors the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and highlights the federal money derived from the program that helps fund wildlife and fish management in South Dakota.

"I think it is appropriate to pay homage to this incredible program on the opening day of South Dakota's traditional pheasant season," Gov. Daugaard said. "South Dakota has some of the finest hunting, and fishing found in the United States and throughout our state's history, hunters and anglers have provided most all of the funds that support management of our state's fish and wildlife resources. This source of federal funding related to hunting and fishing provides additional money and greatly enhances our work."

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program was started in 1937 when Congress, working in cooperation with sportsmen and sporting goods-related businesses, instituted a hunting equipment excise tax paid by manufacturers. A similar tax on fishing equipment was added in 1950. Since its inception, more than $13 billion has been distributed to state game and fish agencies across the nation to help fund management programs.

South Dakota received more than $10.8 million in federal aid last year from the program, which comprised about 22 percent of the Game, Fish and Parks Department operating budget.

"If you've ever purchased firearms or ammunition, bows, arrows, fishing lures, rods and reels, hunting or fishing licenses, you're part of the most successful effort to conserve fish and wildlife in America," Gov. Daugaard said. "The effort has resulted in millions of acres of habitat saved and near-miraculous recoveries of many populations of game and sport fish. We enjoy many hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreational opportunities in South Dakota thanks to 75 years of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs."

-GFP-