Study: Sportsmen and anglers a $2.9 bil biz in 6 Western states |

Study: Sportsmen and anglers a $2.9 bil biz in 6 Western states

GRAND JUNCTION ” Hunters and anglers spend more than $2.9 billion pursuing their interest in six Western states, according to a recently released study.

Taking the money spent, along with money for licenses, fees, various taxes and lodging, the total impact is $70 billion, according to the Sedona, Ariz.-based Sonoran Institute and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership of Missoula, Mont.

“If hunters and anglers comprised a corporation, they’d be in the top 3 percent of the Fortune 500 list,” said Bill Geer, policy initiative manager for the partnership.

The report’s findings are based on 2001 figures from Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and come as states consider asking the Bush administration to protect roadless areas.

The Clinton administration had banned further road construction on 58 million acres of federal land, but a federal judge overturned the rule in 2003. Under Bush administration policy, state governors would have to lobby to bar development on existing roadless areas.

“Hunters and anglers are the bedrock of conservation tradition,” said Luther Propst, executive director of the Sonoran Institute. “They often seek out protected roadless lands that preserve habitat and wildlife ” and access to those lands is critical. We encourage the decision to protect public lands to preserve the prosperity they bring to local economies.”

Expenditures in Colorado by hunters in 2001 amounted to more than $151.5 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. In that period, anglers in Colorado spent more than $157.6 million, the Fish and Wildlife report said.

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