- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A new report indicates that South Dakota’s hunting and fishing industry majorly influences the state’s economic health.

The Colorado-based Outdoor Industry Association released the national report last month. It said the outdoors industry brings about 48,000 jobs to South Dakota, generating $1.2 billion in wages and salaries, $4.7 billion in consumer spending and $255 million in state and local tax revenues annually.

“No matter your political affiliation, where you live or your walk of life, the outdoors brings us together,” said Amy Roberts, the association’s executive director.

Fishing shop owner Mike Cummings told the Rapid City Journal that the state’s unpredictable but generally favorable weather, its game and fish populations, and its healthy economic conditions increase the amount of money outdoor enthusiasts spend on recreation.

“Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine that contributes to businesses and healthy communities in each and every state and is a vital and sustainable sector that relies on investing in and protecting America’s public lands and waters,” Roberts said.

The report said the number of outdoor industry jobs surpasses the 30,000 livestock industry jobs in the state.

Several nearby states - including Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska - showed similar economic impact due to hunting and fishing, according to the report.

The report also suggested ways to increase outdoor recreation participation, including developing urban areas to encourage people to find activities within 30 minutes of home.

“There is always someone out fly-fishing in Rapid Creek,” said Julie Schmitz Jensen, executive director of Visit Rapid City. “How many cities can say that you can just fly-fish in town? Not many I would bet.”


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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