The active outdoor recreation industry contributes $730 billion annually to the national economy, supports 6.5 million American jobs, generates $49 billion in national tax revenue, and produces $289 billion annually in retail sales and services.
Preserving these wild lands is not only a sound economic decision, but it protects essential parts of our culture as Americans. Globally, outdoor recreation is dominated by leading U.S. brands, which in turn are built upon and inspired by the images of America’s iconic wild landscapes.
…For too long the value of preserving American landscapes and ensuring their integrity and availability for outdoor recreation has taken a back seat to oil, gas, and mineral extraction. Comparatively, the economic value of active outdoor recreation had not been properly calculated or considered in land management decision-making.
…Hence, the outdated debate of “jobs vs. preservation” is now replaced with a “jobs vs. jobs” discussion. Consider further the type of jobs, the long term sustainability of those jobs, their contributions to the health of our families and communities, and what sort of economic, natural, and societal legacies we want to leave our children.