By Assemblyman Will Barclay
New York State has thousands of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and millions of acres of forest.
The geographic diversity of our state, and its great natural resources, not only makes New York a beautiful state to live in but a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors.
That is why it is no surprise that there is a growing interest in outdoor recreational activities and in hunting and fishing.
When compared to other states, New York ranks third in the nation for the highest number of residents who hunt and/or fish.
Locally, Oswego, Onondaga and Jefferson counties are among the top 10 in the state for hunting and fishing license sales.
The growing interest in outdoor sports like hunting and fishing is good news for our area.
In addition to the health and social benefits, there are economic benefits.
Consumer spending on hunting and fishing exceeds $5 billion annually.
According to the Department of Conservation, an estimated 600,000 hunters contribute an estimated $1.5 billion to the state’s economy.
The State Comptroller reports that license sales from 2001 to 2011 grew significantly, and Oswego County consistently ranks among the highest in fishing license sales in the state.
Many localities are attempting to capitalize on the growing interest of outdoor sports and targeting economic development plans to further promote it.
In Oswego County’s Economic Advancement Plan, the county estimates that there is a $42 million “angler impact” on the local economy.
As we approach prime hunting and fishing season, it is my hope that the interest will continue to grow in hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.
Hunting and fishing are an important part of our heritage and tradition.
For those interested in learning more about how to get a hunting license, information can be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/hunting.html
For information on hunter education courses, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/92267.html
The courses are offered March through September and teaches future hunters how to be safe, responsible, and ethical hunters and trappers.
It is never too late to try something new or encourage youth to try an outdoor sport.
It could turn into a lifelong passion and add to a person’s quality of life.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this or any other state issue, please feel free to contact me.
My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.
You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.