Anglers, hunters contribute $2.5 billion to Oregon’s economy

By Department of Fish and Wildlife,

Salem, Ore.— Fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing enthusiasts contributed $2.5 billion to Oregon’s economy in 2008 according to a new study conducted by Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Residents and nonresidents spent more than $1 billion on trips and $1.5 billion on equipment and activity-related purchases at Oregon-based retailers and suppliers.

Survey results, which are broken out at the region and county level, will benefit businesses dependent on tourism, destination marketing organizations, conservation groups, tourism managers and recreation retailers and suppliers.

Armed with the newly compiled economic data, local decision makers will be able to more accurately evaluate the impact of changes in regulations, habitat, invasive species, land use, fish passage and other activities that could affect fish and wildlife recreation. ODFW staff will be able to more accurately identify the potential economic effects of changes in wildlife and habitat management activities.

Travel expenses are divided into two categories. Nearly $150 million was spent on local trips of less than 50 miles. Residents and nonresidents spent an additional $862 million on overnight trips or trips of more than 50 miles—accounting for ten percent of all travel related spending in Oregon.

“The survey shows how important wildlife-based recreation is to our travel and tourism industry, which as a whole generated $8.4 billion for Oregon last year and employed 132,000 Oregonians,” said Todd Davidson, chief executive officer, Travel Oregon. “In some rural counties, the majority of travel-related spending can be associated with fish and wildlife recreation.”

“The fact that fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing is of great value to both Oregonians and out-of-state visitors is no surprise to the lodging industry,” said Jeff Hampton, president and chief executive officer, Oregon Lodging Association. “Our vacation rentals, motels, lodges, cabins and RV parks all benefit from Oregon’s rich fish and wildlife resources.”

The study is based on responses from resident and nonresident anglers, hunters, shellfish harvesters and wildlife viewers.

“For a number of years, we’ve recognized the need for reliable information regarding the economic importance of fish and wildlife recreation in the state,” said Roy Elicker, ODFW director. “This partnership with Travel Oregon finally gives us a solid, statewide look at the business of wildlife-based recreation.”

Survey highlights

* Nearly 2.8 million Oregon residents and nonresidents participated in fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and shellfish harvesting in Oregon in 2008. Of the total number of participants, 631 thousand fished, 282 thousand hunted, 175 thousand harvested shellfish and 1.7 million participated in outdoor recreation where wildlife viewing was a planned activity.

* Data is available on three types of wildlife recreation expenditures: travel-generated, local recreation and equipment purchases.

Dean Runyan Associates and The Pulse Group prepared this study for ODFW and Travel Oregon. Dean Runyan Associates has specialized in research and planning services for the travel, tourism, and recreation industry since 1984.

The report, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, and Shellfishing in Oregon 2008 Trip Characteristics and Expenditure Estimate, is available on ODFW’s Web site,

Attachment: Graphic breakdown of the $2.5 billion Fish and Wildlife Recreation Expenditures (pdf) in Oregon in 2008


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