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GLIN==> [fws-news] Many Enjoy Wildlife-Related Recreation, Providing Strong Boostto Nations's Economy, Survey Results Show




----- Forwarded by Rich Greenwood/R3/FWS/DOI on 06/13/02 06:17 PM -----



May 20, 2002
Nicholas Throckmorton 202-208-5636

MANY AMERICANS ENJOY WILDLIFE-RELATED RECREATION, PROVIDING STRONG BOOST TO
             NATION'S ECONOMY, PRELIMINARY SURVEY RESULTS SHOW

Wildlife-related recreation continues to be popular in America, with 39
percent of all U.S. residents 16 years old and older participating in
activities such as hunting, fishing, and birdwatching, according to
preliminary  results from the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting,
and Wildlife Associated Recreation, conducted by the Interior Department's
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In 2001, more than 82 million Americans engaged in wildlife-related
recreation in the U.S., an increase of five million in comparison with the
last survey conducted in 1996.  These recreationists spent more than $110
billion pursuing their activities.  These expenditures accounted for 1.1%
of the gross domestic product, a considerable contribution to the U.S.
economy.

Wildlife is an American icon," said Service Director Steve Williams. A
Wildlife-related recreationists have always been staunch supporters of
wildlife conservation in America.  Wildlife recreation significantly
benefits our economy, creates jobs, and enhances our standard of living."
Fishing is one of the Nation's favorite pastimes, with 34 million anglers
age 16 or older, each spending an average of 16 days fishing in 2001.
Anglers spent more than $35 billion on trips, equipment, and other items
for their sport, averaging more than $1,046 apiece.

More than 28 million people went freshwater fishing, while nine million
people went saltwater fishing. The Great Lakes, one of the most widely
fished freshwater areas, attracted 2 million anglers.

While the number of anglers held steady compared to the last Survey in
1996, expenditures declined by 17 percent.

Meanwhile, 13 million Americans age 16 and older hunted an average of 17.5
days each in 2001. They spent more than $20 billion on their activities and
equipment, or $1,581 apiece.

Nearly ll million hunters sought big game such as deer and elk on l53
million days. Roughly five million hunters pursued small game, including
squirrels and rabbits, on 60 million days.

Three million migratory bird hunters spent 29 million days hunting for
birds such as doves and
ducks. And l million hunters spent l9 million days hunting other animals
such as raccoons and
woodchucks.

Although the number of all hunters declined by seven percent from 1996 to
2001, the number of big game and migratory hunters held steady.  The
declines were in small game (-22%) and other animal hunting (-31%).
Hunters= expenditures did not change significantly from 1996 to 2001.


More than 66 million adults B 31 percent of all Americans B participated in
feeding, observing, and photographing wildlife and spent $40 billion.

Twenty-two million people, or 33 percent of this total, took outings of one
mile or more away from home to participate in these activities. Sixty-three
million, or 95 percent, enjoyed wildlife-related activities around their
homes.

Some 54 million enthusiasts fed birds and other wildlife around the home,
while more than 42 million observed wildlife and 14 million photographed
wildlife around the home.  Almost l3 million people maintained plantings or
natural areas for the benefit of wildlife around the home, and 11 million
visited public parks or natural areas to enjoy wildlife within a mile of
home.

>From 1991 to 1996, the number of people observing, feeding, and
photographing wildlife
increased by five percent, while their expenditures remained constant at
$510 apiece.

The U.S. Bureau of Census interviewed 80,000 households in the United
States to determine participants in wildlife-associated activities.  From
this initial phase, 30,000 sportsmen and sportswomen and 15,000 wildlife
watchers were selected for detailed interviews about their participation
and expenditures in 2001.

Preliminary State specificdata will be available in June. The final
National report will be released in October 2002; individual state reports
will be released starting in November 2002.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The 2001 National Preliminary Survey of Fishing, Hunting,
and Wildlife Associated Recreation is posted at <http://federalaid.fws.gov/
>.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people.  The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small wetlands and other special management areas.  It also operates 70
national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and
helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees
the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in
excise taxes on fishing and hunting
equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

                                  - FWS -

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content of the information should be directed to Mitch Snow
(Mitch_Snow@fws.gov) in the Office of Public Affairs.



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