Speed Economic Recovery by Investing in Natural Resources

These efforts will create new green jobs for people to restore native habitats and wetlands, assist wildlife management, remove invasive species, and protect natural resources that have long been neglected

01-14-2009 // Miles Grant

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Wildlife Federation today joined with the Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Parks Conservation Association and The Wilderness Society to call for a recovery package that sustains America's economy and its natural resources, the basis of our outdoor recreation industry that contributes $730 billion to our economy and supports 6.5 million jobs--or one in 20 American jobs.

A comprehensive recovery plan for America's economy needs to include investment not only in energy efficiency, renewable energy and public transportation, but water infrastructure, national parks and public lands, education, agriculture and other environmental programs. These efforts will create new green jobs for people to restore native habitats and wetlands, assist wildlife management, remove invasive species, and protect natural resources that have long been neglected.

Large-scale ecosystem restoration is a smart and sustainable investment, particularly in light of the impacts global warming is having on our coasts, rivers, and estuaries. Sea level rise and intensified storms create a serious risk that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina will be repeated again and again- unless investments are made in protecting and restoring nature's defenses.

"We're entering an era of global warming that's already having unprecedented impacts on natural resources," said Derek Brockbank, National Wildlife Federation conservation programs manager. "These shovel-ready projects create jobs while making a down payment on safeguarding communities and businesses that rely on healthy natural resources in this new era of global warming. If we put off our support, we stand to lose not only the natural services they provide, but also the economic pillars they sustain."

To get more data on the economic impact of outdoor recreation as well as a state-by-state breakdown, visit:
http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.index.html

For participation and direct economic impacts of fishing, hunting, and wildlife-related recreation, including state data, visit:
http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/fishing.html

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Contact: Miles Grant, National Wildlife Federation, grantm@nwf.org

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