Conservation, Recreation and Preservation Generate an Impressive $1 Trillion per Year for U.S. Economy


From Southwick Associates:

A new report, authored by Southwick Associates and commissioned by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), reveals that officials looking for cost-effective ways to stimulate the economy should look no further than out their own windows: the great outdoors and historic preservation generate a conservative estimate of more than $1 trillion in total economic activity and support 9.4 million jobs each year.

“As a former Secretary of the Interior, governor, senator, and mayor, I have witnessed firsthand how historic preservation, conservation and outdoor recreation result in tremendous benefits to our nation’s economy,” said Dirk Kempthorne. “This study is a valuable tool for reaffirming and quantifying those benefits.”

The report is packed with information. Highlights include:

·       In 2006, according to the Outdoor Foundation, the total contribution from outdoor sports in the United States was nearly $730 billion per year, generating more than 6.4 million jobs and $99 billion in federal and state tax revenues. This includes hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, snow sports, paddle sports and bicycling.

·       In 2006, the combined spending effect of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching associated with National Forest Service land totaled $9.5 billion in annual retail sales, supported 189,400 jobs and provided $1.01 billion in annual federal tax revenues.

·       Every million dollars invested in residential historic rehabilitation generates approximately 36 jobs, $1.24 million in income and nearly $200,000 in state and local taxes.

·       In 2010, 15 million visitors to Civil War battlefields managed by the National Park Service in just five states (Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) generated 7,700 jobs.

“It is important to note that, unlike many studies released in recent days that attempt to project future jobs to be created by yet-to-be enacted legislation, the jobs and benefits we report currently exist. Any jobs associated with future conservation investments would be over and above the figures reported here,” reported Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates, who authored the study.

“Natural resource conservation and historic preservation programs provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and strong returns on public investments that primarily help rural communities and cannot be exported abroad,” said John L. Nau III, chairman emeritus of the Civil War Trust and co-chair of the AVCRP. “This country needs jobs that leverage private investment and conserve our precious natural resources and historic spaces.”

Readers can access the report on the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s website.  If you would like to discuss details of the study and its implications, contact Rob Southwick at [email protected].


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