Outdoor rec a major economic driver in the West, study finds

A hiker looks out over the Bisti/De-N-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico. ©Bob Wick/BLM

Outdoor recreation on Bureau of Land Management land in the West generates hundreds of millions of tax dollars and accounts for $1 billion in salaries and wages, according to a recent report. The study examined BLM lands in 12 Western states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — looking at visitation records and spending data from the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. It found hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing accounted for more than 8 million trips to the areas. “Local and regional economies rely on those economic contributions,” the report concluded. “In other words, changes to the accessibility of BLM lands can affect local, state, and regional economies in the American West.” The study was conducted by Southwick Associates for the Pew Charitable Trusts, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wildlife Management Institute, Trout Unlimited, Archery Trade Association and American Fly Fishing Trade Association.

Read the report here.