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WILDLIFE WATCHING IS BIG BUSINESS
- Subject: WILDLIFE WATCHING IS BIG BUSINESS
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- Date: Tue, 23 Jun 98 09:29:52 -0700
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June 10, 1998 Laury Parramore 202-208-5634
USFWS ECONOMIC STUDY SHOWS WILDLIFE WATCHING IS BIG BUSINESS
Wildlife watching has flown out of the backyard bird feeder and
into the Fortune 500 arena, according to a new report by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.
Americans spent $29.2 billion to observe, feed, and photograph
wildlife in the United States, according to the report, "1996
National and State Economic Impacts of Wildlife Watching." If
wildlife-watching were a Fortune 500 company in 1996, it would
have ranked 23rd.
"Sales of seemingly small items such as binoculars and bird seed
are becoming a major force in the Nation's economy as people take
a greater interest in watching wildlife," said Service Director
Jamie Rappaport Clark. "The total industry output for wildlife
watching--the overall economic 'ripple effect' of the $29.2
billion Americans spent in 1996--is an impressive $85.4 billion."
For many local communities, the economic potential of their
wildlife-watching opportunities still may be unrealized. This
report shows that nationally and locally, investments in wildlife
and wild places are investments in this country's natural
resource legacy, and in its economic future.
According to the report, wildlife watching creates more than 1
million jobs, contributes $24.2 billion in employment income, and
generates $323.5 million in state income tax and $3.8 billion in
Federal income tax. Wildlife watching also produces $1.04
billion in state sales tax. In addition, spending by wildlife
watchers increased by 21 percent since 1991, when the figures are
adjusted for inflation.
Three types of expenditures are detailed in the report.
Expenditures for equipment and related items, such as binoculars,
cameras, wild bird food, membership in wildlife organizations,
camping equipment, and motor homes, accounts for 57 percent of
total spending. Trip-related expenditures, such as for food,
lodging, and transportation, constitute 32 percent of total
spending by wildlife watchers. Other items, such as books,
magazines, contributions, and land-leasing, make up 11 percent of
wildlife watchers' spending. Wildlife watchers are identified in
the report as people whose principal motivation for spending or
traveling is wildlife watching
Nearly 63 million people age 16 and older--31 percent of the U.S.
population--were wildlife watchers in 1996, according to the
report. The report is based on the Service's "1996 National
Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation,"
which is conducted every 5 years by the U.S. Census Bureau. The
survey, based on more than 34,000 interviews with anglers,
hunters, and wildlife watchers, is the most comprehensive survey
of wildlife-related recreation in the United States.
Copies of the report, "1996 National and State Economic Impacts
of Wildlife Watching," and the "1996 National Survey of Fishing,
Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation" are available by
calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's publications unit at
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and
wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the
American people. The Service's almost 93 million acres include
514 national wildlife refuges, 78 ecological services field
stations, 65 national fish hatcheries, 50 wildlife coordination
areas, and 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl
The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves
and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the
Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their
conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program
that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting
equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a
cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding
fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education,
shooting ranges, and related projects across America.
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Date: Fri, 12 Jun 98 13:37:49 -0700
Subject: WILDLIFE WATCHING IS BIG BUSINESS
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