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New Study Confirms Economic Bonus from Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife and Wilderness Conservation

WASHINGTON (10/31/2011) -

A new study released today confirmed that outdoor recreation activities and the conservation of our natural resources provide a tremendous economic boost to this country, including supporting millions of jobs and pumping billions into federal and state tax coffers. The study was commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and was conducted by Southwick Associates. Below is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark.

“Outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation are big business and a significant driver of our nation’s economic engine. Thanks to today’s study, we now know how significant. In 2006, the total economic contribution from wildlife viewing alone was close to $49 billion, including the nearly half a million jobs these activities support. People visiting national wildlife refuges, parks, and other recreation areas added another $47 billion. In total, outdoor recreation pumped $821 billion into our economy in 2006. Add it all up and you get a pretty clear picture of just how important these programs are to Americans and what we lose economically when we slash them. Programs like wildlife conservation may seem like easy targets when it’s time to cut the budget, but as today’s report shows, there are significant economic downsides to doing so, to say nothing of the damage we do to our natural heritage.”


Defenders of Wildlife was one of 1000 groups to sign a July 6, 2011 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner asking them to ensure that budget cuts do not fall disproportionately on the backs of conservation, outdoor recreation, and preservation programs.


To read the report, click here.


Will Lutz, 202-772-0269