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People enjoying a boat. Photo by Greg Workman, FWC.

Latest survey of wildlife-based recreation

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Every five years the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service conducts a national survey providing a look at the level of participation and spending on wildlife-based recreation, such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. It’s done at the request of all the state fish and wildlife agencies, and the actual questioning is done by the U.S. Census bureau, who spoke with more than 48,000 households in 2011. The results from this latest survey are beginning to come in.

The quick numbers – in 2011 at least 90 million people, or 38 percent of all Americans 16 years and older, participated in wildlife-related recreation. They spent $145 billion dollars. That amounts to 1% of our gross domestic product, meaning one out of every one hundred dollars of all goods and services produced in the U.S. is due to wildlife-related recreation.

The survey found the number of anglers, 33.1 million, was up from 2006, but average angler expenditures actually fell. The number of hunters increased from 2006 levels to 13.7 million people, while the number of wildlife watchers increased to 71.8 million people.

As the data is processed, one of the next pieces to be unveiled will be the state reports, which will tell how important these activities are to the economies of all states, including those of the Southern Appalachians.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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