Hunting, angling and wildlife viewing on 246 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered public lands in the western U.S. supports 26,500 jobs, $1 billion in salaries, and $421 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue, according to a new study on wildlife-related recreation spending.
“As the advocate for the fly fishing industry on conservation, access, and business issues, AFFTA sees firsthand the benefits public lands bring to local economies. As a nation, we must continue to protect and recognize the importance of recreational access to our public lands and waters; we have always stood by the belief that they are a vital asset to the people of the United States and our economy,” said Ben Bulis, president of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association.
The research was conducted by the independent firm Southwick Associates Inc. Its report, “Quantifying the Economic Contributions of Wildlife-Related Recreation on BLM Lands,” was released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts, American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wildlife Management Institute, Trout Unlimited, and the Archery Trade Association. Southwick’s analysis found that visits in 2016 to BLM-managed lands in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming for the purpose of wildlife-related recreation resulted in more than $3 billion in total economic output.
“This study further proves the very real value of our public lands – and the outdoor industry as a whole – as a necessary part of economic discussions whether at a local, regional, or national level,” adds Bulis. “The protection of our outdoor heritage is tied directly to our future prosperity.”
AFFTA advocates for and promotes the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry. By igniting consumer demand for products and services, providing businesses the tools to be successful, and advocating for access, protection and restoration of fishing waters, we will continue to enhance the passion and profitability of the sport of fly fishing.