Reversing Decades of Decline, the Number of Hunters and Anglers is on the Rise

Salazar: Preliminary Survey Delivers 'Great News for America's Economy
and Conservation Heritage'

MILWAUKEE, WI - Highlighting the reversal of decades of declining
numbers, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the
preliminary results of a comprehensive national survey of outdoor
recreation showing a significant increase in hunters and a double-digit
increase in anglers over the past five years.

"Seeing more people fishing, hunting, and getting outdoors is great news
for America's economy and conservation heritage," said Salazar. "Outdoor
recreation and tourism are huge economic engines for local communities
and the country, so it is vital that we continue to support policies and
investments that help Americans get outside, learn to fish, or go
hunting. That is why, through President Obama's America's Great Outdoors
initiative, we have been focused on helping Americans rediscover the
joys of casting a line, passing along family hunting traditions, and
protecting the places they love."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2011 National Survey of Fishing,
Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation found that hunters
nationwide increased by 9 percent while anglers grew by 11 percent.
Nearly 38 percent of all Americans participated in wildlife-related
recreation in 2011, an increase of 2.6 million participants from the
previous survey in 2006. They spent $145 billion on related gear, trips
and other purchases, such as licenses, tags and land leasing and
ownership, representing 1 percent of the nation's gross domestic

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is dedicated to connecting people and
families with nature," said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the States, non-governmental
organizations, and additional partners to help keep recreational
fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching going strong for people across
America's great outdoors."

Other key findings include:

In 2011, 13.7 million people, 6 percent of the U.S. population 16 years
old and older, went hunting. They spent $34.0 billion on trips,
equipment, licenses, and other items in 2011, an average of $2,484 per

More than 33 million people 16 and older fished in 2011, spending $41.8
billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items, an average of
$1,262 per angler.

More than 71 million people engaged in wildlife watching in 2011,
spending $55.0 billion on their activities.

At the request of state fish and wildlife agencies, the Fish and
Wildlife Service has been conducting the national survey every five
years since 1955. It is viewed as one of the
nation's most important wildlife-related recreation databases and the
definitive source of information concerning participation and purchases
associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related
recreation nationwide.

"State agencies, hunters and anglers are the key funders of fish and
wildlife conservation through their license and gear purchases," said
Dr. Jonathan Gassett, Commissioner of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife
Resources Commission and President of the Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies. "An increase in participation and expenditure rates
means that agencies can continue to restore and improve habitat and fish
and wildlife species, bring more youth into the outdoors and provide
even greater access to recreational activities."

The U.S. Census Bureau interviewed 48,627 households across the country
to obtain samples of sportspersons and wildlife watchers for detailed
interviews. Information was collected through computer-assisted
telephone and in-person interviews.

The Survey is funded through a Multi-State Conservation Grant from the
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which celebrates 75 years
of conservation success in 2012.

The preliminary report is the first in a series that the Service will
release. The next report of preliminary findings will contain State
data and will be available in the coming months. In late November, the
National Report with more detail participation and expenditure estimates
will be available online. From December 2012 to May 2013, the 50 State
reports will be released on a rolling basis.

The preliminary results of the National Overview report can be found