Outdoor recreation a powerful force for fun, economy

Posted on: August 17, 2017 | Bob Frye | Comments

Spending time outdoors is not only fun, it helps the outdoor economy, too.

Taking a child fishing is more than just a way to have fun. It’s also important to the economy, according to a recent study.
Bob Frye/Everybody Adventures

Yeah, maybe the grass needs cut. Maybe that leaky sink could use a new faucet. And maybe you could, finally, put that new coat of paint on the laundry room walls.

Or, you could go hiking. Perhaps paddling. Maybe camping or even fishing.

Not for yourself.

For America.

It turns out, outdoor recreation is a huge and important part of the nation’s economy.

According to a new series of reports by the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending and directly sustains 7.6 million American jobs annually.

“Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine that contributes to businesses and healthy communities in each and every state and is a vital and sustainable sector that relies on investing in and protecting America’s public lands and waters,” said the group’s executive director, Amy Roberts.

Pennsylvania is a big part of that.

According to the Association, 56 percent of state residents take part in outdoor activities. They’re especially likely – three times more than the average American – to participate in hunting and motorcycling.

Whatever it is that gets them outdoors, though, Pennsylvanians spend. Outdoor recreation spending last year amounted to $29.1 billion in consumer spending, $8.6 billion in salaries and wages and $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenues.

All that activity supported 251,000 direct jobs, too.

So go ahead. Forget whatever it is you want. Force yourself to spend a day outdoors.

You know, to take one for the team and keep someone else working.

Sunday hunting

Another state has loosened its restrictions on hunting on Sundays.

Are you listening, Pennsylvania lawmakers?

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper recently signed a bill there that will allow the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission to open up as many as two million acres of public land to Sunday hunting.

Specifically, the bill allows for the forming of rules for Sunday hunting of migratory birds, removes the blanket prohibition of hunting within counties having a population greater than 700,000 people and requires any county wishing to “opt-out” of Sunday hunting do so by a county-wide voter referendum.

Money fish

Can catching fish make you rich?

Michigan is awarding money to anyone who can stop invasive carp.

A common carp.

Yes, to varying degrees, in these two cases.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever it was that illegally stocked northern pike in one of its lakes.

Pike aren’t native to Nevada and wildlife officials don’t want them.

The state previously removed all of the pike from Comins Lake. Someone, though, planted new ones.

Now, the idea is not only to remove them again, but punish whoever it is that put them there.

In Michigan, meanwhile, there’s even more money on the line.

Gov. Rick Snyder is offering up to $700,000 for any effort that can successfully keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

His “Invasive Carp Challenge” is meant to get people thinking and, perhaps, find a way to block the fish. Proposals are being accepted through Oct. 31.

Elk relocation

West Virginia, which just re-introduced elk within its borders last year, is getting a few more animals in 2018.

West Virginia is getting elk from Arizona in 2018.

Elk cows and calves

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has committed to sending 60 elk to its counterparts in West Virginia.

Plans are to capture them next January and February, then hold them for a period of time for disease testing. If all goes well, they’ll then be delivered by a professional livestock hauling company.

Birds and windows

It will surprise no one to say that birds sometimes die when they fly into windows.

But where does it happen most often?

Now, that’s unexpected.

According to researchers at Augustana College in Illinois, nearly 1 billion birds in North America are estimated to die annually from striking windows or building exteriors.

To figure out where most fatalities occur, they studied bird deaths at almost 300 buildings on college and university campuses nationwide. They were surrounded by different kinds of landscapes.

What researchers found is that big buildings cause more deaths than small ones, and that big buildings in rural areas cause the most of all.

One possible solution?

Hager suggested more buildings adopt a “Lights Out” program. Promoted by the National Audubon Society, such programs call for turning out lights in buildings so that migrating birds flying overhead are not attracted to windows.

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

Share This Article

Shop special Everybody Adventure products today!