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Wildlife Watching Increases Dramatically from 2011 to 2016

Finally, research confirms what we already know – the increased percentage of wildlife watchers, 35 percent vs 5 percent for hunting and 16 percent for fishing. The value of wildlife for viewing instead of trapping for trophies and fur is feeding our economy, including the state of Wyoming. When our wildlife management agencies begin to shift to the modern views of the public, then our wildlife viewing opportunities will increase as well.

“In 2016, more than 101 million Americans – a staggering 40 percent of the U.S. population – participated in some form of fishing, hunting or other wildlife-associated recreation such as birdwatching or outdoor photography. And in doing so, we spent an estimated $156.3 billion on equipment, travel, licenses and fees. These expenditures represent 1 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product – creating and supporting thousands of jobs and communities across the nation.”

“More than 35.8 million Americans went fishing in 2016, while 11.5 million hunted and 86 million watched wildlife. This means that 14 percent of Americans 16 years of age or older fished, 5 percent hunted and 35 percent participated in wildlife watching.”

Full article here.

Photo: Brett Billings/USFWS

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