Need a moment for your soul? Grab a cup of coffee or tea or whatever and spend a few minutes reading some of the wonderful quotes posted on the Outdoor Bloggers Network in response to: Outdoor Community Question ~ Favorite Outdoor Quote.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Field and Stream and Angling Trade are all talking about a recently released report with important information about the positive impact conservation, outdoor recreation, and historic preservation has on the national economy. Take a look at these stories and download the report here.
“A new study finds that growing the U.S. economy is as easy as fishing your favorite stream or heading out for a hunt. According to the economic study, 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.”
From The Conservation blog on Field & Stream, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership And The $1 Trillion Question:
“I hope people will take the time to actually read and ponder what is revealed here. So much of it, if we think about it, is common sense– we all know (or are) someone who owns or works in an outdoor store, or as a guide or outfitter, or who has recently bought a boat or upgraded fishing tackle or guns. The money is there, it’s moving through the economy, and it is dependent on having healthy and protected lands and waters to use that tackle or shoot those guns (imagine the miniscule percentage of the economy in France, or China that is generated from hunting and fishing- then look at the US figures in the linked study).”
From Angling Trade, New Study Underscores the Economic Value of Outdoor Resources and Recreation:
“But the truth is that the outdoors is an important economic driver– a uniquely American economic driver that cannot be outsourced to China or India. In a time when the debate revolves around “jobs, jobs, jobs” it’s important to understand that millions of American jobs revolve around wild places, the equipment that people use in the outdoors, the travel they do to experience the outdoors, and the things they read to help them get the most out of that experience. In other words, jobs like yours and mine hang in the balance.”
As a career choice, lobbyist was not at the top of my list when I graduated from college. I really had planned to do something in the outdoors with smoke jumper and fishing guide topping the list. But fate is what it is and I wound up spending the bulk of my adult life in DC as a hired gun plying my trade in the various Gucci gulches of the U.S. Capitol.
You don’t do something for more than 30 years without becoming something of a student of the game and over the years I have seen, heard or read a number of example of good and bad advocacy techniques.
The other day I came across an excellent examples of creative lobbying in this post, How to Win Through Chit Chat on the Trucacabra blog. It chronicles the author’s very effective lobbying techniques. I won’t spoil his thunder but will tell you he has hit on one of the best ways to engage our elected officials on conservation issues.
I know Washington, DC can be an exciting place to visit and all the hoopla of fly-in days and receptions can be quite alluring. My experience tells me the place to effectively engage our elected officials in where we live, work and play. Don’t tell them how important woods, water, wetlands or fields are. Take them there!
When it comes right down to it, it really is this simple: healthy habitat = recreational opportunity = economic activity.
Need more proof, read this is from the recently released America’s Great Outdoors progress report (click here to download the entire report).
“The great outdoors has fueled centuries of economic activity through recreation and natural resource management, and it continues to employ millions of people today. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that outdoor recreation in the United States—from hunting and fishing to hiking and camping—contributes an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy. The “recreation economy” supports nearly 6.5 million jobs. It generates $88 billion in annual state and national tax revenue and $289 billion annually in retail sales and services. From the largest parks to the smallest historic sites and memorials, National Park Service areas alone see over 280 million visitors. They generate $12 billion in visitor spending that supports nearly 250,000 jobs. As part of the leisure and hospitality sector, the fifth-largest employer in America, the recreation industry has proven resilient in tough times. It shed only three percent of its workforce from 2007 to 2010 and maintained non-exportable jobs tied to places where people live and recreate right here in the United States. Maintaining this industry hinges on an accessible and healthy America’s Great Outdoors.”
There is lot’s of good information in the AGO Progress report and it not only details the progress to date, it provides action items to be accomplished going forward. Hopefully many of the action steps will take place and the country can reap the economic and societal benefits of a strong outdoor economy.
The social media realm is always interesting. Last week, Shawn Bichsel aka @sbixel retweeted a link to my “Dealing with PETA” post (click here). I had been a bit worried that I might be in the great minority with regards to PETA, and was delighted for the air cover. My curiosity about Shawn led me to his terrific blog, Lines in the Dirt.
Shawn has a great quote from Edward Abbey on the Outside tab of his site. It is pretty appropos to our times and evokes some of the same things Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying, making it even more meaningful. Here is the quote that adornes Lines in the Dirt:
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
I have no idea if Jobs knew Abbey but they both saw the world from a great point of view.
Ok so I am likely in the minority of my peer group.* I actually think PETA serves a purpose. They are the yeast that makes the bread of public discourse rise. Animal cruelty in any form is despicable and those who fight against it have my deep appreciation. A lot of what they care about I agree with.
No, I think their tactics and campaigns are whacky and damage the hell out of their credibility, but they take it the streets and are willing to do what they think they need to do to advance their cause. Good on them I say.
Case in point. A couple of PETA people showed up in front of the Ugly Bug Fly Shop in Casper, Wyo. Yup, Casper. Wyoming. Pretty wild.
But the gang at Ugly Bug didn’t come out swinging. Nope, they joined in the fun and offered their own point of view.
Check out the photo album on the Ugly Bug’s Facebook page (click here). The Wonder Bar showed some great community spirit. Classic.
So when these folks show up at your local fly shop, don’t beat them, join them.