Conservation Minnesota

More Proof: Jobs and Conservation Are Partners

DaveDempseyFeatureNot that any more proof is needed, but a report released in March by the National Park Service (NPS) underscores the connection between jobs and conservation in Minnesota.

The report (http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2012_final_nrss.pdf) finds that Minnesota’s five NPS units in 2012 drew more than 600,000 visitors who spent more than $34 million, supporting more than 500 jobs in the state. Voyageurs National Park alone drew more than 200,000 visitors who spent $16 million.

Nationwide, national parks generated $26.75 billion in economic activity and supported 243,000 jobs in 2012.

There’s more. The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/fhw11-mn.pdf) found that in 2011, 2.5 million residents and nonresidents hunted, fished or watched wildlife in Minnesota, spending $3.9 billion on trip-related costs, equipment purchases and other items.  The survey estimates that in 2011, Americans spent $145 billion on related gear, trips, licenses, land acquisition or leases, and other purchases, representing about one percent of America’s gross domestic product.

Conservation doesn’t impede the economy – it helps drive it.  That’s something to remember the next time someone argues that jobs and protecting natural resources are opposing values.  The facts say otherwise.

About Dave Dempsey

Dave Dempsey
Dave Dempsey is a resident of Rosemount and author of three books on environmental subjects. He formerly served as Conservation Minnesota's communications director.
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