IDAHO FALLS (AP) — A new study from several wildlife-related groups has found that recreation on U.S. land administered by the Bureau of Land Management land contributes billions of dollars to western states' economies.
The study by Southwick Associates was done on behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wildlife Management Institute, Trout Unlimited, Archery Trade Association and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association.
The Post Register newspaper in Idaho Falls, Idaho reports the study found that wildlife-related recreation on the land in 12 western states generates more than $3 billion in economic activity. That figure includes about 26,500 jobs, $1 billion in salaries and wages and $421 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.
The report focused on three main activities: Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
“Our research found that recreation associated with fish and wildlife on BLM lands is a significant jobs generator, providing income for rural communities for decade after decade with minimal investment compared to other industries,'' said Rob Southwick of Southwick Associates. “Smart business and planning call for managing BLM's fish and wildlife-related resources as important economic assets.''
The study, released Thursday, included Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, all of which have extensive lands overseen by the federal agency.
In Idaho, the study found that hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing generated $85 million in salaries and wages and $295 million in sales from the lands in 2016. Wyoming's numbers were similar, with an estimated $88 million in salaries and wages and $331 million in sales.