Ducks Unlimited applauds Gov. Cuomo's State of the State plan which promotes responsible recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of this plan increases access for hunters on New York's public lands and ensures hunting remains an important part of outdoor recreation. Throughout the pandemic, Ducks Unlimited has partnered with a variety of conservation groups to promote #responsiblerecreation to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly.
The pandemic has seen an unprecedented surge in outdoor recreation and we have seen more hunters take to the woods than have in decades. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates participation in hunter safety courses have increased 175%. This is good news, as hunters play an important role in the state's conservation equation: more hunters in the field mean more licenses sold. This money is critical for management of the state's natural resources and expanding hunting access to more areas and to more youth participants will ensure this tradition will continue beyond the pandemic.
As more people rediscover the magic of the outdoors during this trying time, we commend the governor and NYSDEC's view that all outdoor enthusiasts can access New York's land and waters equitably.