Did you know that migratory bird hunting in Louisiana supports 1.5 times as many jobs as there are New Orleans Police Department officers? According to a new economic impact study released by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, thats nearly 2,000 jobs supported by migratory bird hunting in 2006 alone.
Hunting, however, is only a small part of the overall economic picture. The report reveals that hunting, in concert with fishing, boating, wildlife watching and other outdoor activities, generated $4.61 billion during 2006, the most recent year for which data is available. When economic impact multipliers are applied to the figure, it jumps to $6.75 billion, which goes into the pockets of Louisiana private interests. The various sectors combined supported 76,700 jobs in 2006 and generated an estimated $446.2 million in state and local government tax revenues. That year, commercial fisheries produced retail sales of $1.8 billion while providing nearly 27,000 jobs. Wildlife-based commercial activities, such as alligator trapping, fur harvesting and reptile and amphibian collecting, generated $62 million in retail sales and supported nearly 800 jobs. Recreational activity also had a considerable economic impact on Louisianas economy. Hunting, recreational fishing, wildlife watching, feeding and photography combined to generate approximately $2 billion in retail sales, supporting over 37,000 jobs. Retail sales for recreational boating, accounting for more than $980 million in 2006, supported nearly 15,000 jobs. The study was completed by Southwick and Associates, a Florida-based firm with experience in the economic analysis of wildlife and fisheries activities around the country. This is the third year in a row that Southwick and Associates has prepared Louisianas annual report. Copies of the new report may be obtained by calling (225) 765-2864 or visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/education/Southwick_2006_final_final_report_5-27-08.pdf. Jeremy Alford