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Not Just an Oil Boom: New Stats on ND's Outdoor Recreation Economy

PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in North Dakota generates $2.2-billion in consumer spending and supports 28,000 jobs. CREDIT: Dawn Hopkins
PHOTO: It's estimated that the outdoor recreation industry in North Dakota generates $2.2-billion in consumer spending and supports 28,000 jobs. CREDIT: Dawn Hopkins
February 18, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. - There are big bucks in outdoor recreation for the state of North Dakota. The Outdoor Industry Association has totaled up the financial impact from hiking, fishing, hunting and the like. Spokeswoman Avery Stonich said while the state's population is small, outdoor recreation is still a big player in the local economy.

"In North Dakota, outdoor recreation generates $2.2 billion in consumer spending," she said. "It supports 28,000 jobs. It generates $606-million in wages in salaries and generates $189 million in state and local tax revenue."

Nearly 70 percent of North Dakotans take part in outdoor recreation each year, according to the report. Among the state's treasured destinations are the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Spending on outdoor recreation in the U.S. has increased by about 5 percent each year, even through the Great Recession, Stonich said, adding that that shows how much Americans value the ability to get out and play in the great outdoors.

"It's something that people find important even when they're struggling with other aspects of the economy," she explained. "So it's important that we support policies that protect the places where people get outside and enjoy our nation's natural resources."

Nationally, outdoor recreation is said to generate nearly $650 billion a year in consumer spending, while directly supporting more than 6 million jobs.

More information is available at www.outdoorindustry.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND