Recent Conservation News
Contact: Blake Androff (DOI) 202-208-6416
Jeffrey Olson (NPS) 202-208-6843
WASHINGTON – National Parks continued to be important economic engines for local communities, with visitors generating $30.1 billion in economic activity and supporting 252,000 jobs nationwide in 2011, according to a peer-reviewed report released today by the National Park Service.
“Places like the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty take our breath away and inspire us with their beauty and history, but our national parks also serve as anchors for our nation’s economy,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “People who visit parks need transportation, places to stay, and meals to eat – all of which support businesses and provide jobs in local communities.”
The statistics for 2011 are based on the spending of nearly 279 million national park visitors; more than one third of that total spending, or $13 billion, went directly into communities within 60 miles of a park. The numbers are on par with previous years.
“Everyone knows that national parks are great places to visit that offer inspiring educational experiences, unparalleled outdoor recreation, and a whole lot of fun,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “But what this report shows is that America’s national parks are also critical economic engines, not only for our neighbors in gateway communities, but for our entire country. The national parks return more than $10 for every $1 the American taxpayer invests in the National Park Service; that makes good stewardship sense and good business sense.”
Salazar and Jarvis warned that mandatory budget cuts under sequestration will result in reduced hours of operation for visitor centers, shorter seasons, and possibly closing campgrounds, hiking trails, and other recreational areas when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors, staff and resources. Should Congress fail to act before the March 1 deadline, the public should expect reduced hours and services not only at America’s 398 national parks but also at the 561 national wildlife refuges and over 268 public land units.
The reduced services will have a direct impact on the local communities and businesses that depend on the income generated from visitors to America’s public lands.
The National Park Service report is done on an annual basis and is prepared through a cooperative agreement with Michigan State University. The entire report, with information by park and by state on visitor spending, jobs and other impacts, is available online at: http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM (click ‘Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2011’). According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent), and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).
This week the National Park Service also released its 2012 visitation numbers showing an increase of 3.8 million over the previous year for a total of 282.8 million visitors to the National Park Service’s 398 parks. Visitation broken down by park and state is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/. These numbers will be the basis for next year’s economic benefits report.
For more state-by-state information on national parks and how the National Park Service is working with communities go to www.nps.gov/[STATENAME], for example: http://www.nps.gov/virginia.
Filed Under: Conservation Announcements, Conservation Notes, Conservation Press, Outdoor Conservation Tagged With: Jonathan B. Jarvis, Ken Salazar, National Park Service, Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior
Statement from Benjamin Bulis, president, American Fly Fishing Trade Association:
“We applaud the nomination of outdoor recreation industry leader, Sally Jewell. She is an excellent choice who understands the critical formula of healthy habitat creating recreational opportunity that drives economic activity.
She has been a strong advocate for the America’s Great Outdoors initiative and her first hand knowledge of the importance of the recreation economy to American jobs underscores her support for having adequate conservation funding and access to the outdoors on equal ground with other uses of our public lands and waters.
We look forward to working with her on other stewardship challenges to fish habitat such as energy development and water use.
The choice of Sally Jewell signals a continued and hopefully increased focus on the outdoor recreation economy which is so vital to our members and the American people.”
AFFTA’s mission is to promote the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry. We work to grow consumer demand for fly fishing goods and services, enhance the growth and professionalism of fly-fishing businesses, and support the protection, enhancement and restoration of fish and fish habitat.
Filed Under: Conservation Notes, Fish Conservation, Outdoor Conservation, Uncategorized, Wildlife Conservation Tagged With: America's Great Outdoors, Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior
This summer I had the opportunity to see first hand the efforts being made in Yellowstone National Park to help save the native cutthroat trout from an illegally introduced predator — Lake Trout — and the cause is one I’d love for more people to not only be aware of, but to stand behind and help in anyway they can.
Ken Barrett is someone who I meet in person on my trip, who is passionate about restoration/conservation and who is actively educating and spreading awareness about the efforts happening in Yellowstone. ~ Rebecca
The following post written by Ken and video is something we invite everyone to not only read
but help out by taking the information and sharing it on their own personal blogs.
From Ken: Did you know that the largest population of native cutthroat trout in the entire world is being
threatened by illegally introduced and voracious predators? Yes, that’s right, and it’s happening right in
the middle of the Yellowstone National Park!
Just over two decades ago, some misguided individual or group of individuals planted lake trout in
Yellowstone Lake, where Yellowstone cutthroats had lived largely unmolested for over 10,000 years.
Introducing Lakers into Yellowstone Lake was comparable to letting a family of foxes free in the
proverbial hen house. In just over a decade they have decimated the cutthroat, reducing their numbers
from 4 million to less than 400,000, a decline of more than 90%!
Not only is this a disaster for anglers, who have enjoyed fishing for Yellowstone cutthroats for over 100
years, but also for more than 40 species of animals including grizzlies, osprey, otters and bald eagles
that depend to a greater or lesser degree on the iconic cutthroat for their survival and well-being.
But now there is hope, Park officials with help from the Yellowstone Park Foundation, TU and other
organizations are mounting a full-on assault against the lake trout. In just the past two seasons they’ve
eliminated over a half million lake trout from Yellowstone’s waters and have seen the first significant
increase in immature cutthroat numbers in over a decade.
The suppression and elimination of lake trout isn’t easy, it isn’t cheap and it needs the help of every
concerned citizen, especially anglers. Please take a few minutes and watch a three- minute video that
addresses the problem, then go to ypf.org/SaveTheTrout and make a
We need to save Yellowstone’s cutthroats for future generations to enjoy. ~ Ken Barrett
Outdoor Bloggers: Feel free to take the above information and video, in parts or it’s whole and share the information on your blogs. Awareness is vital in raising funds and finding support. Thank You!!