This legislative session, we were able to work with some incredible lawmakers to allow Floridians the opportunity to vote on the 2024 ballot for a state constitutional right to fish and hunt.
While most folks in the “Fishing Capitol of the World” know someone who will wet a line, less than .01 percent of our state participates in hunting.
But, over 20% of the much ballyhooed Florida Wildlife Corridor was acquired with sportsman’s dollars, the money generated from hunting and fishing licenses and their federal matches.
That means 1 in 5 acres of Florida conservation land exists because of hunters and fishers.
We’re big proponents of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation around here – a century of science has borne out that if you want more of a species, making it available for take is crucial to ensuring its future. Turkeys, deer, and waterfowl are all incredible examples of this, existing in higher numbers today than at any point in modern history.
Add into all of this the celebration of ranching and agriculture by Florida’s conservation community . . . The overlap and similarities between these practices and sportsmen and women is enormous . . . and, often, private landowners are able to afford to keep their land wild by stacking revenues from agriculture with additional income streams from hunters.
Our team worked diligently this session to ensure all Floridians are able to protect this way of life AND critical conservation component forever by passing legislation to allow this right on the 2024 ballot. Combined, between the House and Senate, we saw an unprecedented bipartisan movement that declared by a vote of 154-1 that this was important and needed.
This is only the beginning of this movement, but it has been a landmark moment for anyone who cares deeply about Wild Florida, whether a sportsmen or not, to ensure these things exist forever!