|By PR Newswire||
|August 12, 2014 12:54 PM EDT||
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A broad group of local and regional leaders representing Colorado sporting organizations, small businesses, lodging and retailers announced the launch of the Hunting Works For Colorado partnership today. Stressing the major impact hunting and recreational shooting have on Colorado's economy, the organization credits sportsmen and women as key drivers of both rural and urban economies.
"Businesses across Colorado, large and small, are benefitting from spending by hunters and recreational shooters. The variety of businesses that benefit from hunters and other recreationists using firearms is vast, everything from my pawn shop to restaurants to sporting goods stores to motels," said Pete Nichols, Hunting Works For Colorado co-chair and owner of Northwest Pawn Inc. in Craig, CO. "The hunting opportunities in our state draw 259,000 hunters each year. Whether they come from Colorado or another state, these hunters represent important and underappreciated tourism dollars, spending money on lodging, gas, food, guides and various supplies. Hunting is an important component of our local economies and should be recognized appropriately."
According to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, 259,000 people hunt in Colorado each year. Colorado hunters spend $185 million on hunting equipment and $221 million on trip-related expenses annually. This spending results in a $763 million dollar ripple effect on Colorado's economy. These expenditures do not include the additional input into the state's economy from recreational shooters.
"I have hunted in Colorado all my life and I am proud to be a commissioner of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission because what we have in Colorado is so special," said Gaspar Perricone, Hunting Works For Colorado co-chair and president of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance. "The money hunters spend on licenses, fees and equipment is a major funding source for wildlife conservation, thanks largely to the Pittman-Robertson Act which collects a tax on hunting equipment and hunting associated recreation for the purpose of habitat conservation. Not only are hunters helping to drive our local economies, they are a major force behind our conservation efforts as well."
According to Hunting Works For Colorado, this pattern of spending happens all over the state, with each hunter spending an average of $1,800 dollars per season to pursue their passion.
The newly formed Hunting Works For Colorado partnership has more than 70 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
"The simple fact is that hunters and recreational shooters are supporting jobs and funding conservation simply by following their passion," said Pat Martinez, Hunting Works For Colorado co-chair and a retired biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. "By bringing so many businesses, sporting groups and chambers of commerce together, we will reach more people with this important message about the economic benefits that hunting and the shooting sports bring to our state."
"Hunting is big business in Colorado, thanks in large part to a rich portfolio of publicly accessible lands," said Tim Brass, a Hunting Works For Colorado co-chair and Southern Rockies Coordinator for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. "As America's longstanding wildlife advocates, hunters continue to fund the lion's share of wildlife conservation in Colorado, all while driving the economy. To maintain the jobs that hunting supports, we need to maintain the high-quality habitat that our wildlife depends on, and public access to that habitat. The Hunting Works For Colorado program is a great way for hunters, businesses and community leaders to acknowledge the good that hunting does for Colorado."
The Hunting Works For Colorado partnership will monitor public policy decisions affecting gun ownership, wildlife conservation and recreational shooting opportunities and weigh in on hunting-related issues that in turn impact Colorado jobs. Hunting Works For Colorado will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and tell the story of how Colorado's hunting and recreational shooting heritage positively affect conservation, economic activity and jobs throughout the state.
About the Hunting Works For Colorado Partnership
Hunting Works For Colorado is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities. Members are advocates for public policy that support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Colorado.
For more information on Hunting Works For Colorado, please visit www.HUNTINGWORKSFORCO.com
SOURCE Hunting Works For Colorado