Report: Hunters, Anglers, Help Fuel Nev. Economy

Nevada hunters and anglers spent $417 million last year on their outdoor recreation and help fuel the state and local economies, according to a report by a sportsmen's advocacy group.

The findings by the Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation said money spent in 2006 by Nevada's 182,000 hunters and anglers directly supported 5,000 jobs and $176 million in wages.

Additionally, the report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy - A force as big as all outdoors," said the spending generated $32 million in state and local taxes.

"Because sportsmen enjoy hunting or fishing alone or in small groups, they are overlooked as a constituency and as a substantial economic force," Jeff Crane, foundation president, said in a written statement.

"When you compare spending by hunters and anglers to other sectors, their impact on the state's economy becomes more tangible."

Nationally, the report said 34 million sportsmen age 16 and older spent more than $76 billion in 2006, supporting 1.6 million jobs.

The report ranked Nevada 43rd in the nation as to the number of resident hunters, with 54,000. Texas, with 979,000 resident hunters, was first, followed by Pennsylvania with 933,000.

When it comes to resident anglers, Nevada ranked 42nd, with 114,000, the report said. Texas again topped the list, with 2.3 million, while Florida, with 1.8 million, ranked second.

California was third in the number of anglers with 1.5 million, but 14th in resident hunters, with 274,000, according to the report.

Texas and Florida also claimed the top two spots in combined spending, with $6.6 billion and $4.8 billion, respectively. California came in third, with $3.6 billion.

Combined spending in Nevada ranked 42nd.

"Spending by sportsmen benefits not only the manufacturers of hunting and fishing related products, but everything from local mom and pop businesses to wildlife conservation," said Doug Painter, president of National Shooting Sports Foundation, which helped sponsor the report.

He said most hunting and fishing takes place in rural areas, so much of the spending "benefits less affluent parts of the state."

The foundation said the report was based on results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2006 national survey of fishing, hunting and wildlife-related recreation, as well as statistics provided by the American Sportfishing Association and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
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(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-21-07 1447EST