January 19, 2013

Sportsmen in spotlight Thursday under the Gold Dome

Submitted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

ATLANTA — It is going to get a little wild at the Georgia Capitol on Thursday as sportsmen’s groups and coastal conservation groups from the around the state gather to meet with state leaders for “Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol.”

“For years, we have celebrated this day and the impact that conservation and outdoor recreation have on our state,” said Scott Tanner, the event organizer. “Hunting and freshwater fishing directly support more than 31,000 jobs and generating more than $3 billion annually. Plus, our coastal resources are responsible for an impact of more than $2 billion through tourism and saltwater fishing industry.”

This year, the conservation groups are emphasizing the importance of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs.

“To ensure healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and women pay a federal excise tax on hunting, fishing and boating equipment,” said Commissioner Mark Williams of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “Those funds are directed to the states based on the number of paid sporting licenses, among other factors. This system has been in place for just over 75 years and is considered America’s greatest conservation story.”

A broad spectrum of sportsmen’s and conservation groups will participate with displays, educational materials, interactive activities and live animals at the Capitol. Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources and Coastal Resources Divisions will participate in the event.

Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston are scheduled to speak at the event.

To learn more about hunting and fishing opportunities in Georgia, visit www.georgiawildlife.com. For more information about coastal fishing and recreational opportunities, visit www.coastalgadnr.org.

2013 Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day Participants:

• Trout Unlimited

• Georgia Canine Coalition

• Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation

• National Wild Turkey Federation

• Ducks Unlimited

• Georgia Wildlife Federation

• Camo Coalition

• Quality Deer Management Association

• Heritage and Wildlife Conservation Council

• National Rifle Association

• Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

• Georgia Trappers Association

• Coastal Conservation Association

• Izaak Walton League

• GeorgiaCarry.Org

• National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses

• Let’s Get Wild Inc.

• DNR Wildlife Resources Division

• DNR Coastal Resources Division