1,000th Group Joins National Conservation, Outdoor Recreation and Historic Preservation Coalition

At Washington, D.C., event, Theodore Roosevelt IV and ‘America’s Voice for Conservation,
Recreation and Preservation’ remind Congress of Outsized Employment and Economic Benefits

WASHINGTON – One-thousand groups and businesses have joined in urging Congress to consider the economic impacts of the great outdoors and historic preservation as it makes critical decisions concerning America’s fiscal health, the recently formed national coalition “America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation” announced today.

At a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by the coalition on Monday afternoon, Theodore Roosevelt IV joined CEOs from prominent AVCRP organizations to cite strong new evidence of the employment opportunities and economic growth driven by natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation in America. Read a transcript of today’s event and view video as it aired on C-Span 3.

Roosevelt, a leading figure in American conservation and the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, noted America’s long-standing tradition of conservation. “For more than a century, conservation is part of what has made America unique,” Roosevelt said. “From our public lands tradition to the ethic of private land stewardship, conservation has enjoyed broad support with the public and bipartisan support from their congressional representatives. As the Southwick Report clearly shows, conservation is an economic driver, accounting for more than 9.4 million jobs. I hope we reinvigorate our bipartisan commitment to conservation as we work to reduce the budget deficit.”

Congress is currently determining federal funding of conservation, recreation and preservation programs in the bicameral, bipartisan “Super Committee” as well as in fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.

AVCRP is a national coalition of organizations and businesses representing tens of millions of citizens with diverse political backgrounds and areas of interest. AVCRP members are united in a shared understanding that federal investments in natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation programs are vital to the future of our great nation. The 1,000 supporting entities signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to sustain the federal funds that are critical to the American way of life.

AVCRP represents an extraordinarily broad and diverse set of interests ranging from conservation and the environment to hunting, fishing and many other forms of outdoor recreation as well as historic preservation. AVCRP is made up of nonprofit organizations as well as major American businesses. Read the AVCRP letter and a list of signatories.

Other speakers at today’s event included Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society and AVCRP co-chair; Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy; and Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

“The Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the United States,” a report released this month by Southwick Associates and commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, was highlighted by Roosevelt and AVCRP leaders at the Washington, D.C., press conference. The study defines the huge economic stakes associated with continued federal investments that are leveraged and matched with private funds.

The study cites the following compelling figures for the combined value of outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation and historic preservation:

· 9.4 million American jobs

· $1.06 trillion in total economic impact

· $107 billion annually generated in tax revenue

“From an economic perspective, the bottom line is clear – America’s natural resources are a critical part of our national economy. Investments in nature produce a great return. Federal spending on conservation and protection of our natural resources should not be singled out for disproportionate cuts in the budget,” said Tercek. “Americans across the country agree, as you can see from support by more than 1,000 organizations joining together to call upon Congress to address the federal deficit while still investing in critical conservation programs.”

“This economic report highlights how cost-effective conservation and preservation programs make a clear profit for the U.S. taxpayer and benefit our nation’s economy,” said Hall, who is also former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “This coalition has come together because all of us understand how critical conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation are to America’s legacy, economy and people.”

“This study shows just how historic preservation has proven its value many times over,” said Meeks. “The remarkable impact of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is just one example, creating over 2 million jobs since its inception and leveraging $90.4 billion in private investment. Preservation projects not only generate economic activity – it brings people together and creates a legacy for future generations.”

Learn more about the TRCP’s work in support of conservation funding.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations
and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions
of hunting and fishing.