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Wildlife Interests Worth $4.1 Billion to Alaska’s Economy, New Study Finds

(Juneau) – Almost a million resident and visitor households embarked on at least one trip in Alaska to hunt or view wildlife in 2011, according to research presented in the recently published report, “The Economic Importance of Alaska’s Wildlife in 2011.” Along the way, the $3.4 billion spent by those hunters and viewers accounted for $4.1 billion in economic activity statewide.

“Visitors reported that wildlife is one of the main reasons they visited Alaska,” said Doug Vincent-Lang, director of the state’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, “and residents said wildlife contributes to their quality of life and reasons for living here.”

Of the $3.4 billion spent by hunters and wildlife viewers in Alaska in 2011, resident hunters and wildlife viewers each spent more than $1 billion. Visiting wildlife viewers spent $1.2 billion, while visiting hunters added some $150 million. That spending generated more than 27,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in labor income.

“This study demonstrates what many instinctively know:  Alaska’s wildlife is important to Alaskans and visitors.  Because people value it, they’re willing to spend a lot of money here to hunt, view, and experience wildlife,” Vincent-Lang said.

The report will be featured in a presentation at the Alaska Board of Game meeting on Friday, March 14, at the Dena’ina Civic Center in Anchorage, and the public is invited to attend.

The research was conducted by economic consulting firm ECONorthwest, which gathered core data for its analyses through six interlocking surveys in 2012. The surveys were conducted by phone, Internet, and mail and information was provided by about 7,000 residents and 2,000 visitors.

To see the report summary, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/ongoingissues/pdfs/the-economic-importance-of-alaskas-wildlife-in-2011-summary-report.pdf

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