Some interesting facts highlighted in the report:
- Outdoor recreation in the United States –from hunting and fishing to hiking and camping—contributes an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy
- The “recreation economy” supports nearly 6.5 million jobs
- The recreation industry has proven resilient in tough times; it shed only three percent of its workforce from 2007 to 2010
Our parks have always been preserved and maintained as significant cultural and natural resources, but clearly we also need to shift part of our focus to explore the economic benefits of cleaning up our outdoor spaces as well. There is an increasing push to maintain this industry and preserve our natural landscapes, which may allow us to more fully explore indirect economic benefits such as tourism and local job creation. No one wants to visit a park where the native animals have all migrated or died off, landscapes have been altered through development, or pollutants have contaminated pristine environments.
The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative was established in April, 2010 to promote and support innovative efforts to conserve outdoor spaces while reconnecting our communities with nature. “The President asked federal agencies (such as the Department of the Interior and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency) to listen and to learn from the American people. The result was one of the largest conservation-related dialogs in our nation’s history.” Read the entire progress report here .