This past Thursday, sportsmen of all stripes – anglers, hunters, fresh and salt water, deer, duck and upland descended on the Georgia Capitol for Sportsman’s Day. The message was outdoor recreation is big business and we vote! Participating groups emphasized the importance of wildlife and sport fish restoration programs to Georgia’s economy and quality of life.
“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.”
“I’m proud to participate in Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol,” added Mark Williams, Georgia DNR Commissioner. “Hunting, fishing and our coast are not only economic engines in our state, but they also improve our quality of life. I want to thank all of our sportsmen and partners on the coast for all they do for conservation in Georgia.”
Georgia Trout Unlimited (GA TU) Chairman Mack Martin noted that “Governor Nathan Deal is an avid sportsman. The Governor, in his remarks to the group, reaffirmed his commitment and support to outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing.”
Georgia Trout Unlimited was represented by Mack Martin (GA TU Chairman and Upper Chattahoochee TU Member), Carl Riggs (GA TU Vice Chairman and Blue Ridge Mountain TU Member), Charlie Breithaupt (TU National Grassroots Trustee and Rabun TU Member), Jim Kidd (GA TU Conservation Committee and Rabun TU Member), Garland Stewart (GA TU Executive Committee and Cohutta TU Member) and Alex Watson (GA TU Conservation Chairman and Cohutta TU Member).
Joining Trout Unlimited were many other organizations, including: Georgia Wildlife Federation and the Como Coalition, Coastal Conservation Association, Izaak Walton League, Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation, Georgia Canine Coalition, Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Heritage and Wildlife Conservation Council, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Georgia Trappers Association, GeorgiaCarry.Org, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, Let’s Get Wild Inc., GA DNR Wildlife Resources Division and DNR Coastal Resources Division.
See you on the stream.
Kevin McGrath is Georgia Trout Unlimited’s Advocacy Chairman.