Governor Whitmer has proclaimed July as “Wildlife Conservation Month” in Michigan, dedicating this month to celebrate the state’s water, woods, and wildlife.
This proclamation coincides with the 9th anniversary of the Michigan Wildlife Council, a bipartisan panel tasked with educating the public on the importance of wildlife management as well as how hunting and fishing aid in the protection of the state’s natural resources. The Council is celebrating with a traveling exhibit entitled “Conservation Takes Flight,” which will focus on the conservation efforts involved with certain Michigan ecosystems and some of the birds that call them home. The exhibit will be available at Detroit Kite Festival on July 10, Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair on July 23-24, and the Belle Isle Art Fair August 6-7. They are also sponsoring an outdoor photo contest to showcase the best of the state’s natural beauty running from July 1-30.
Officials also wish to acknowledge the important role hunting and fishing play in conservation efforts and economy. Michigan Wildlife Council Chair Nick Buggia says, “Michigan is recognized throughout the country as a leader in wildlife management, but what many people don’t realize is that hunters and anglers really drive those activities. This is a great time to remind the public that hunting and fishing license sales — not taxes — are the primary source of funding for conservation.”
Licenses purchased by anglers and hunters generated over $66 million for the Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund in 2021. The fund is the DNR’s largest revenue source and is critical to its conservation work. According to a 2019 study released by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs in partnership with Michigan State University, hunting and fishing have a combined $11.2 billion economic impact on Michigan and provide an estimated 171,000 jobs.