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Growing up in Alabama’s Black Belt, I developed a love of the outdoors. My travels as Governor have only deepened my appreciation for the diversity of landscapes and wildlife our great state has to offer. As far as I’m concerned, no place on Earth compares to Alabama, especially if you also cherish the outdoors.

Thanks to our state’s abundant natural resources and its status as the most biologically diverse state east of the Mississippi River, Alabamians have many options when it comes to outdoor recreation. Whether you’re chasing rabbits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, reeling in largemouth bass from our world-renowned waterways, or hunting white-tailed deer and wild turkey throughout the state’s many forests and fields, Alabama has ample outdoor recreation opportunity waiting for everyone.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is tasked with promoting, enhancing and protecting our natural resources, including wildlife and fisheries. To fund that significant task, ADCNR depends on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. Those license dollars are federally matched nearly three to one through the Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration acts to fund the management of the state’s wildlife and fisheries for the benefit of all Alabamians.

It may surprise you that less than four percent of Alabamians purchase a recreational license. That small percentage of hunters and anglers fund the majority of Alabama’s conservation efforts. That’s why it is more important than ever to become a mentor. I encourage our hunters and anglers to take someone who has never been hunting or fishing with them on their next outing. By becoming a mentor, you can pass on those traditions to a new generation.

In addition to investing in the future of conservation in Alabama by purchasing recreational licenses, your participation in hunting and fishing helps thousands of Alabamians working in jobs associated with outdoor recreation. Each year, outdoor-related activities in our state generate an economic impact of almost $15 billion. This translates into more than 135,000 jobs for Alabamians. Hunting and fishing help make this possible.

Thank you for your support of Alabama’s great outdoors. I wish you a safe and successful season in the field and on the water.