Non-motorized Recreation Brings Boost to NV Economy
Friday, April 1, 2016
RENO, Nev. - Nevada's 48 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management bring in $172 million a year from so called "quiet recreation," according to a new study released by Pew Charitable Trusts. Researchers found camping, hunting, fishing and hiking bring the state $168 million in direct spending, and $59 million for pay and benefits to more than 1,600 Nevada workers.
Kristin Lee, project director at ECONorthwest, the firm that conducted the study, said the total impact in a dozen Western states is almost $3 billion for the U.S. economy, and 25,000 jobs.
"It's folks working in local stores, and then it stems to the suppliers for all of the products and services." she said. "Then it ripples out from there. So, it's likely that it touches almost every sector of the economy."
The report said in Nevada in 2014, tourists made almost 4 million visits to pursue non-motorized activities on the 48 million acres of Silver State land managed by the BLM.
Meghan Wolf, manager of Patagonia, an outdoor recreation store in Reno, said her business depends on tourists visiting Nevada's pristine, undeveloped areas.
"We believe in protecting our public lands." she said. "We see public lands as the backbone of the outdoor industry. It gives people access to wild and unspoiled places, so we think that's really important."
Ken Rait, director of Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Lands Program, hopes BLM managers will use the study results to prioritize conservation.
"Traditionally, Bureau of Land Management lands have been managed to benefit the extractive industries, like the oil and gas industry, and mining and ranching." he said. "What we're finding is that BLM lands benefit a much larger segment of American society."
The full study can be read online at pewtrusts.org.
Support for this reporting comes from Pew Charitable Trusts.
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