In Our Public Lands (Part 3) I wrote about how important our public lands are for the local economy, specifically in Virginia. Thanks to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation we can see what hunters and anglers in Virginia mean to the economy.
According to the CSF, in 2011 in Virginia, hunters and anglers accounted for:
- $2.38 billion in direct consumer spending,
- $1.17 billion in salaries and wages,
- $242 million in state and local taxes and
- 39, 164 jobs.
Hunting and fishing are deep-seated traditions in the Commonwealth. Our elected officials love to talk about how they support those traditions and want to see them continue. But what are they doing to protect our public lands, the very venues that allow hunting and fishing to take place? If they don’t have a good answer then it is time to remind them that hunting and fishing are more than traditions, they are economic drivers in the state and to jeopardize those public land venues is to put that economic activity and the jobs at risk.
You can see what outdoor recreation means to your state’s economy and download the report on the CSF Reports page.
I said it before; the outdoor recreation economy is an economic powerhouse, now it needs to be a political powerhouse!