It Pays to Go Wild

Good Wildlife Yields Good Money

02-01-2004 // Roger Di Silvestro

Good wildlife yields good money, according to a study released recently by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In 2001, some 66 million Americans spent more than $38 billion watching, photographing and feeding wildlife. Spending on gear, lodging and other items generated another $95.8 billion in industrial output, resulting in more than 1 million full- and part-time jobs as well as more than $6 billion in state and federal taxes.

Another recent FWS study concluded that 46 million bird-watchers spent $32 billion in 2001 on their sport, producing $85 billion in overall economic output and $13 billion in federal and state income taxes while supporting more than 863,000 jobs. California, New York and Pennsylvania had the most birders, but Montana, Vermont and Wisconsin led the nation in birding participation rates as a percentage of total state population.

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