Thursday, December 27, 2012

USA Wildlife-related Recreation

Wildlife-related outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011, according to a recent study released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The data is contained in the the final report of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Included in the report are details about the types of activities and money spent for fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.

More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011 ( up 3 percent from 2006).

In 2011, wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion on their activities; $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.

In 2011, 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted, and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity such as observing, feeding and photographing wildlife.

71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed birds and other wildlife in 2011. Roughly 68.6 million people wildlife watched around their homes.

U.S. enthusiasts traveled extensively to observe wildlife in 2011. 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home to primarily wildlife watch.

13.7 million people enjoyed watching land mammals; 4 million people watched marine mammals; 6.4 million enjoyed watching fish; and 10.1 million enjoyed watching other wildlife such as butterflies.

People spent $54.9 billion on their wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

White River Partnership Receives National Award

Vermont’s White River Partnership received the 2012 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Passage Program’s Partner of the Year Award at the partnership’s annual meeting in Rochester, Vt.

The partnership, a small community-based non-profit organization, was recognized for its professionalism, dedication, and leadership in response to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The storm damaged thousands of culverts and caused widespread flooding, stranding residents and isolating towns in the White River basin.

Mary and Greg Russ, executive director and project manager of the partnership respectively, acted quickly following the storm to identify failed road culverts and notify local, state, and federal authorities. Their efforts triggered the deployment of Service fish passage engineers and stream restoration experts to ensure that road crossing repairs promoted fish passage.

Fish-friendly crossings not only protect fish, they protect communities and are more economical in the long run because they can withstand flood events.

Based on their experience responding to the 2011 storm, the Russes have continued to advocate for fish-friendly culverts and their environmental, social and economic benefits.

As a result of the on-the-ground response following Irene, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provided nearly $3 million in funding to rebuild storm-damaged infrastructure in the City of Rochester alone. The funds also supported the purchase of land in floodplains for permanent restoration efforts.

The Partnership’s efforts also "helped spur a national discussion on road crossing standards," said Susan Wells, the Service’s national fish passage program coordinator.

Initiated in 1999, the Service’s national fish passage program works with local communities to restore river systems. More than 700 partners nationwide collaborate with the program to rebuild infrastructure for long term resiliency and health of fisheries. Each year the program recognizes the accomplishments of one of these partners.

More Information:

USFWS-National Fish Passage Program:

USFWS-National Fish Passage Program/Northeast:

White River Partnership:

source: USFWS