Study: Outdoor recreation means big bucks and jobs in Washington
Washington state lawmakers have new information that might influence future environmental preservation legislation.
A study released today concludes the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in Washington exceed $21 billion a year.
It finds the average Washingtonian spends 56 days a year in outdoor recreation activities. That includes things like camping, golfing, biking, fishing and boating.
It calculated the value of everything associated with those activities -- from equipment to food and gas, to the cost of the land used for the activities.
Marc Berejka, is Director of Government and Community Affairs for the outdoor equipment company REI. He envisions lawmakers treating this data like they do reports from big businesses like Boeing and Microsoft.
"And I think what this report demonstrates is that outdoor recreation is an economic gem, and as a result, public policy also needs to be bent towards sustaining it," Burejka said.
The study was requested by the legislature and commissioned by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
It says there are 199,000 jobs in Washington that are directly and indirectly supported by outdoor recreation.