Faces of Arkansas: The Face of the Outdoors, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
For more than 106 years, the mission of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been “to conserve and enhance Arkansas’ fish and wildlife and their habitats while promoting sustainable use, public understanding and support.” This requires AGFC to nurture, shepherd and safeguard our natural resources. Still, as they do this, they are conserving something much more delicate and important: the outdoor character of Arkansas that gives us our distinctive identity.
Director Austin Booth calls this “common man conservation,” and it is what led him to become the 19th director of the AGFC. From the agency’s perspective, common man conservation has three implications. First, it means every effort and asset of the AGFC is for the benefit of Arkansans. Second, it means that they not only serve Arkansans, but all Arkansans — from all parts of the state, from all walks of life, and with all types of interests.
Third, it means AGFC serves current and future Arkansans, ensuring that the Arkansas outdoors is better for our grandchildren than it has been for us. The implications of common man conservation for business in Arkansas are obvious. At least 63 percent of Arkansans participate in outdoor recreation, and the industry can boast 96,000 jobs that give hard-working men and women of Arkansas $2.5 billion in wages and salaries. The Arkansas outdoor recreation industry generates roughly $9.7 billion annually in consumer spending. With an ethos of common man conservation, the AGFC will do its part to perpetuate this economic powerhouse. AGFC will modernize its vast inventory of aging infrastructure to ensure that it can indefinitely manage natural resources and provide the public with meaningful and consistent access. AGFC will educate Arkansans about the importance of conservation, stewardship and the national treasure that lies in our very backyards. And AGFC will continue a rich 106-year heritage of habitat management and preservation, not just on the land and water they manage, but for private landowners and leaseholders through its Private Lands Program. AGFC is not without challenges. Threats to natural resources, aging infrastructure, changing demographics and people’s changing interests are but a few. But the outdoor character of this state, the prosperity it brings, and its distinctive virtues are worth fighting for. And AGFC is ready for it.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission – 501-223-6300 – AGFC.com