By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chambers, and Delegates Farris, Beach, Osborne, Calvert, Burke, McGraw, Fragale, Azinger, Blass, Johnson, Compton, Kiss, Thompson, Hunt and Leach)
H. C. R. 17--"Designating Thursday, February 9, 1995, as West Virginia Nongame Wildlife and Natural Heritage Day."
Whereas, Nongame wildlife and other aspects of our natural heritage enrich the lives of over 600,000 West Virginia citizens through such wildlife experiences as birdwatching, photography, bird feeding and nature study; and
Whereas, Nongame wildlife and natural heritage experiences by West Virginia residents contribute over 50 million dollars annually to the State's economy through expenditures for travel and equipment; and
Whereas, 267,000 nonresidents annually enjoy the State's nongame wildlife and natural heritage resources generating 110 million in tourism dollars and spending 1.1 million visitor days; and
Whereas, Nongame wildlife includes those species which are not fished, hunted, or trapped and comprise 87 percent of all West Virginia's wildlife, including 261 species of birds, 51 mammals, 43 amphibians, 42 reptiles, 130 fish, 2,308 vascular plants and thousands of invertebrates; and
Whereas, Sixteen of the hundreds of animal species and five plant species found in West Virginia are listed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as either threatened or endangered, such as the bald eagle, Cheat Mountain salamander, and running buffalo clover; and
Whereas, The Natural Heritage Program conducts an ongoing statewide ecological inventory of rare plant and animal species, wetlands, and other biological communities necessary for public and private agencies to satisfy legal or regulatory responsibilities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That Thursday, February 9, 1995, be designated Nongame Wildlife and Natural Heritage Day for the purpose of increasing public awareness of these important resources within West Virginia.