CONTACT: 
Glenn Normandeau: (603) 271-3511
Randy Curtis: (603) 271-0801
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
July 22, 2008

Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching Boost Granite State Economy:
2006 National Survey Data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

CONCORD, N.H. -- Wildlife-related activities are giving New Hampshire's economy a significant boost, according to a national study issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reports that the federal survey shows that 839,000 hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers spent $560 million on wildlife-related recreation in New Hampshire in 2006. 

Here's how the numbers break down:  The 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation reports 61,000 hunters in New Hampshire (resident and non-resident, over the age of 16) accounted for nearly $75 million in trip-related, equipment and other spending in the state.  In addition, 230,000 anglers in New Hampshire (age 16 and older) spent more than $172 million.  During the same year, 710,000 participants age 16 and older spent approximately $274 million related to wildlife watching activities.  (There is overlap among groups in terms of the number of participants; that is, some people both hunt and fish, etc.) Participants spent an additional $39 million on trips and equipment related to more than one of these activities.

"This survey is a useful tool for gauging the economic impact of fish and wildlife recreation in New Hampshire," said Glenn Normandeau, Executive Director for N.H. Fish and Game.  "The numbers show that, in addition to being a cornerstone of our state's strong conservation ethic and providing many hours of enjoyment for local residents, wildlife activities support thousands of jobs and bring millions of dollars into the state's economy."

Nationally, the report observed an overall increase in wildlife-related recreation, because wildlife watching was up.  Participation in hunting and fishing had declined since the last survey in 2001, both nationally and in New Hampshire, but the total dollars spent by hunters and anglers stayed about the same. 

N.H. fishing license sales data from 2006 and 2007 suggest more promising participation trends, according to Normandeau.  "The number of licensed anglers in New Hampshire surpassed the previous year's total in both 2006 and 2007," Normandeau said.  "During tough economic times, people traditionally turn to hunting and fishing as an affordable recreational activity."

The positive impacts of wildlife-associated recreation go beyond the $560 million in direct expenditures. The "ripple effect" of fishing and hunting-related expenditures generated an additional $400 million in economic output for the state in 2006, according to the American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates, a consulting firm specializing in economic and business statistics related to fish and wildlife.  "Wildlife recreation is a critical component of New Hampshire's economic livelihood -- maintaining our quality of life, providing recreation for residents and tourists, and boosting state revenues," said Normandeau. 

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, done every five years, quantifies the amount of recreation and expenditures attributed to these activities.  The full report, and the individualized report for New Hampshire, are available at wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/2006_Survey.htm.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources.

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