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UW Plays Key Role in Study That Shows Hunting, Fishing Boost Park County Economy

July 28, 2016
Park County hunting and fishing spending report cover
A UW economic study for Park County -- commissioned by the Wyoming Wildlife Federation -- shows $23.4 million was generated in 2015 as a result of hunters and anglers participating in their outdoor activities on public and private lands in the county. (UW Photo)

A University of Wyoming economic study for Park County -- commissioned by the Wyoming Wildlife Federation (WWF) -- shows $23.4 million was generated in 2015 as a result of hunters and anglers participating in their outdoor activities on public and private lands in the county.

“This study shows that expenditures by hunters and anglers amount to important revenue, which supports the Park County economy,” says Tex Taylor, an economist with UW’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and author of the report.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department provided the hunting and fishing license data used in Taylor’s economic analysis. This analysis showed hunters spent $12.7 million in Park County during 2015. This total was based on hunter day estimates from Game and Fish’s 2015 Annual Harvest Reports, compiled by hunt area. Data were compiled from hunting licenses for big game and trophy species. Taylor also calculated 62,000 hunting days were spent in Park County in 2015.

Anglers spent $10.7 million in expenditures in Park County in 2015, which was based on the 20,000 fishing licenses sold in the county. Taylor also shows a total of 123,000 angling days were spent in Park County in 2015.

The Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center at UW provided the GIS analysis. Hunting days were estimated for each hunting unit. Because some units cross county lines, this meant GIS was needed to determine the percentage of hunter days for each of the two counties where the hunting unit occurs. Additionally, in order to estimate the expenditures for hunting and fishing, per unit estimates for Wyoming were calculated based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report. These expenditures were then adjusted for inflation to 2015 dollars.

In the USFWS survey, it is estimated that 443,000 resident and nonresident hunters and anglers spent 4.8 million days hunting and fishing in Wyoming during 2011. Within the report it is also estimated that this recreation activity generates more than $683 million of spending within the Wyoming economy.

“Spending by hunters and anglers flows to a number of different sectors within the Park County economy,” Taylor says. “While some of the $23.4 million may have been spent outside Park County, those dollars that are spent locally do generate secondary benefits in various other support sectors within the local economy.”

The study has the support of the Wyoming Sportsmen’s Alliance, which represents more than 30,000 hunters and anglers.

“As sportsmen, we clearly place a high value on our public lands, but important to the Park County process for evaluating the importance of WSAs (Wildlife Wilderness Study  Areas) and land uses, we needed to show how our use of these lands actually pays dividends to the county,” says Chamois Andersen, executive director of the WWF. “Bottom line, sportsmen using public lands in Park County significantly contribute to the county’s economy.” 

This report is one of a series of reports on the economic impacts of hunting and fishing for each of eight participating counties under the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI).

The report’s conclusions were presented July 27 to the Park County advisory committee that assembled to craft a recommendation for WSAs that fall within the county. This county-by-county effort is part of the WPLI, which is anticipated to culminate in congressional legislation for 45 WSAs in Wyoming. The report and an infographic are available at www.wyomingwildlife.org/public-lands/wpli/economic-impact.org.

For information on the WPLI and the Park County advisory committee process and others, go to www.wyomingwildlife.org/public-lands/wpli/.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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