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Hunting and fishing are historically important aspects of Alabama’s culture. From the founding of our state more than 200 years ago, these activities have sustained us through difficult times and enriched us during times of plenty. As we move past the pandemic, I hope you will continue to take advantage of the many outdoor recreational opportunities Alabama has to offer.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) currently manages more than 790,000 acres of public land across the state for excellent hunting opportunities. The Department also manages our many lakes and rivers for some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. Whether you intend to pursue white-tailed deer, a strutting gobbler, or a trophy largemouth bass, Alabama offers abundant access to do so.
One of my priorities as Governor is to ensure that our outdoors traditions continue while promoting economic growth so that all Alabamians prosper. Each year, several million people participate in outdoors-related activities in our state, generating an economic impact of almost $15 billion. This translates into more than 135,000 jobs for Alabamians. Your purchase of a recreational hunting or fishing license helps make this possible.
Alabama has been and will remain resilient in the face of challenges. In early 2022, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected in two white-tailed deer in Lauderdale County. CWD is a neurological disease that affects a variety of deer species. ADCNR takes the presence of this disease very seriously and is utilizing its CWD Strategic Surveillance and Response Plan to manage it. I am confident they will do whatever is prudent and reasonable to protect the state's deer resources and our hunting culture.
The abundant access to quality outdoor recreation we enjoy today is due in large part to hunters and anglers. Your investment in and stewardship of our natural places help to make Alabama such a special and beautiful place. I encourage you to share your love of the outdoors with others who have never been hunting or fishing. By becoming a mentor, you can pass on those traditions to a new generation.
Thank you for your support.