Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
FWS Report Shows Wildlife Watching Means Big Bucks for Wisconsin
Midwest Region, October 9, 2003
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A new economic report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that more than 2.4 million people spent $1.3 billion observing, feeding and photographing wildlife in Wisconsin during 2001. The expenditures--by both residents and nonresidents watching wildlife in Wisconsin--generated 34,010 jobs with wages and salaries totaling $711.8 million. The jobs generated more than $67 million in state sales and income taxes.

The state of Wisconsin ranks fifth in the nation in terms of total economic output generated by wildlife watchers, behind California, Florida, New York and Texas.

The report, ?2001 National and State Economic Impacts of Wildlife Watching Addendum,? examines national participation in wildlife watching, associated expenditures, economic activity generated by these expenditures, employment and income associated with expenditures, and associated state and federal tax revenue. The data is collected during the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, which the Service conducts every five years.

Nationally, the survey shows roughly 66 million Americans spent more than $38 billion observing, feeding or photographic wildlife in 2001, the expenditures resulted in more than 1 million jobs that paid $27.8 billion in salaries and wages.

"Many Americans enjoy watching wildlife, however we often overlook the positive impact these activities have on state and local economies," said Service Director Steve Williams.

Direct expenditures by wildlife watchers included expenditures for items such as cameras, binoculars and bird food, and for trip-related expenses such as lodging, transportation and food. For each $1 of direct spending associated with wildlife watching in the United States, an additional $1.49 of economic activity was generated.

Only participants whose principal motivation for the trip, activity or expenditure is wildlife-related were counted. Residential participants include those whose activities are within one mile of home; nonresidential participants refers to people who take trips or outings of at least one mile. The survey did not include trips to zoos, circuses, aquariums, museums or to scout game.

The full report is available on-line at http://federalaid.fws.gov.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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