U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said October will be recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Month.
The declaration was signed Wednesday at the grand opening of the Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield, Mo. Event speakers included former Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. National Hunting and Fishing Day was held on Saturday.
“I grew up in northwest Montana surrounded by public lands and waters,” Zinke said in a statement. “Some of my best memories are hunting and fishing with my dad and granddad, and then later teaching my own kids to hunt and fish. That’s something I want more families to experience, which is exactly why increasing access to public lands is so important. Hunters and anglers are the backbone of wildlife and habitat conservation in America and they contribute billions of dollars to conservation.”
The announcement came on the heels of 600 acres in Arizona’s Santa Teresa Mountains being made accessible for hunting and fishing.
NASCAR team owner Richard Childress is the honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day and second vice president of the National Rifle Association.
“Hunters, anglers and target shooters are the best conservationists who contribute so much through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts,” Childress said in a statement. “Last year they contributed $1.2 billion toward conservation and protecting our natural resources. We need more mentors taking young people out and teaching them to hunt and fish, so I’m glad secretary Zinke is promoting hunting and fishing at the federal level.”