Virginia Celebrating 100 Years of Wildlife Management

Virginia Dept of Game & Inland FisheriesRICHMOND, VA – On March 11, 1916 legislation was passed creating the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). On June 17th the act became law and the cloak room of the Senate was opened for Department business. When the Department was established in 1916, it was considered the most radical event in the history of conservation in Virginia. It took the support of many individuals, groups, and organizations before the landmark legislation would ever become a reality. The newly created state agency quickly began the work of restoring the state’s beleaguered fish and wildlife populations, as well as improving the loss of critical wildlife habitat. In those early years the conservation of Virginia’s wildlife resources was to be funded exclusively by hunters and anglers through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. Those funding challenges still remain while the number of people wanting to use those wildlife resources is dramatically increasing.

“The restoration, protection, and management of our wildlife resources, however challenging, is a remarkable record of wildlife success stories for the Department and conservationists from around the state,” said Bob Duncan, Executive Director. “From the start, DGIF has been a science-based management agency. We have always believed in the North American Conservation Model where fish and wildlife belong to all Americans and need to be managed in a way that their populations will be sustained forever.”

Virginia is truly fortunate to have bountiful populations of fish and wildlife. The recent reintroduction of elk into Southwest Virginia, the special stocking of largemouth bass in Back Bay, and the groundbreaking work to restore threatened and endangered freshwater mussels are just a few of the latest achievements to make headlines. DGIF’s leadership and dedicated staff of professionals, along with the continued partnerships with anglers, boaters, hunters, and wildlife supporters, will ultimately improve the quality of life for all of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

To recognize the significance of this milestone, the Department’s flagship publication Virginia Wildlife magazine has captured the first 100 years with an in-depth article in the May/June issue, available online at: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/100/.

As the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries begins the journey into the next 100 years we would like to thank all those who have invested in Virginia’s conservation legacy and invite the public to be part of the greatest outdoor movement to conserve, manage, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats in order to create recreational and educational opportunities for generations to come.

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Contact: Lee Walker
(804) 912-6121
Lee.walker@dgif.virginia.gov

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