That short statement sums up the appreciation I have for Indiana’s hunters and my fellow conservationists.
It’s often said that hunters were America’s first conservationists. They recognized more than a century ago that unregulated market hunting and habitat destruction were wiping out some of our nation’s most treasured wildlife species. The time had come to reverse that trend.
The grassroots buy-in of everyday citizens made it happen. Hundreds of small hunting and conservation clubs sprang up across Indiana out of this mutual desire to see wildlife survive and thrive. National organizations – the Izaak Walton League of America, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation among others – soon followed. State agencies, like our own Department of Natural Resources, were created and tasked with managing the public’s natural resources.
This year, the state of Indiana celebrates its bicentennial and your Indiana State Parks are celebrating a century of showcasing and preserving our state’s natural wonders. From the establishment of our first state park — McCormick’s Creek — in the summer of 1916, the system has grown to 32 properties that host nearly 16 million visitors each year.
But it’s you, the hunter, who has supported Hoosier conservation by buying a license.
Your investment not only grants you the privilege to pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, pheasants or some other game, but also supports research, programs, and our public lands. You are part of the Hoosier conservation tradition every time you buy an Indiana license.
The future of Hoosier conservation looks bright with your continued support. Thank you.
State of Indiana Governor
Indiana DNR’s work covers a lot of ground, but there may be no greater mission than that of land conservation.
Each of you who buy hunting, trapping or fishing licenses is a partner in that effort.
For starters, your license money can be used only for fish and wildlife conservation.
Another revenue source tied to license purchases that helps buy and manage public lands is the federal Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration program. It’s administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which has shared more than $18 billion with state fish and wildlife agencies over the past 79 years.
Funding comes from a federal excise tax charged to manufacturers for the hunting, fishing and boating equipment they produce. Funds from this tax are apportioned to state fish and wildlife agencies based on a formula that calculates the area of a state and the number of certified license holders living there. The payout is about $48 per certified hunter and $9 per certified angler.
Indiana’s combined apportionment for 2016 exceeds $16.5 million.
Who benefits? Certainly hunters like you, who visit our fish and wildlife areas or other public lands open to hunting, as well as non-hunters who also have an appreciation for wildlife.
Those areas continue to grow. Check out the information on how the DNR uses your license dollars to expand land conservation in Indiana.
Cameron F. Clark
Director, Department of Natural Resources