WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 15, 2021 – Today, Ducks Unlimited (DU) Chief Policy Officer Zach Hartman testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion Subcommittee. The hearing was titled "The State of Outdoor Tourism, Recreation and Ecotourism," and, as the world's leader in wetlands conservation, DU was asked to testify on behalf of America's waterfowl hunters to discuss their impact on the U.S. outdoor economy.
Ducks Unlimited's work, and the outdoor recreation access wetlands conservation provides, is a strong driver of economic activity in rural communities. It's clear that outdoor recreation, especially waterfowling, is an essential part of the U.S. economy, and there's an undeniable link between hunting and fishing, the conservation investments funded by sportsmen and women, and Americans' access to vast public lands. And when waterfowlers travel to hunt, they're visiting local outfitters, stopping at local diners and staying at local motels – leaving a welcome trail of economic stimulus in small towns across the United States.
- According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation accounts for 2.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The economic impact of hunting alone is more than $110 billion.
- According to recent data published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, waterfowling contributed $4 billion to U.S. GDP and supported 56,900 jobs, paying a total of $2.4 billion in wages.
- Of that $2.4 billion, $663 million is attributed to "Trip Expenditures" benefiting the travel and service industries. Waterfowlers also paid more than $509 million in federal taxes and $399 million in state taxes.
For more information on the hearing, including a link to the video recording, click here
. For a transcript of Hartman's testimony, as prepared, click here
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Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.