It turns out what helps American wildlife helps us too.
Annually, America’s wildlife refuges generate more than $2 billion in economic activity. Moreover, over 35,000 people are employed as a direct result of these refuges.
But it isn’t just the economy that benefits. Each year, over $300 million is collected in local, state and federal taxes.
So not only do our wildlife benefit, our economy and our government do, too. There’s no denying the help they could use these days.
The effort to preserve natural parks has been close to a century and a half in the making. America is known for its vast natural beauty, which is why the United States government has slowly but surely been establishing national parks and wildlife refuges since the mid 19th Century. Given that there are 1,261 endangered species in the United States, wildlife refuges are not only a huge boost to the economy. They stand to preserve and even revitalize our wildlife and beautiful natural landscapes.
These parks and refuges have certainly been living up to expectations. Even today, they remain popular outdoor escapes from the everyday world.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors frequent each of our 561 wildlife refuges each year. According to a Fish and Wildlife Service report, 75% can cite their expenditures going into recreational activities such as hiking, birding, and picnicking. 28% indulge in popular sports such as hunting and fishing.
Comparatively, the nation’s 401 national parks units report close to 300 million visitors per year and generate around $30 billion every year. Although it may seem a small amount, the impact made by each wildlife refuge is significant to our economy.
In the end, what helps our wildlife helps us. By preserving these natural resources for future generations, we generate billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in addition to enjoying a pleasant day in nature.