Arizona Partnership to Highlight Economics of Hunting in Flagstaff
October 18, 2010
Contact: Kristen Sheehan
Arizona Sportsmen, Retailers, Lodging and Business Leaders Join Forces on Hunting Economics Agenda
(Flagstaff, AZ) – A broad group of local and regional leaders representing Arizona sporting organizations, small businesses, lodging, and retailers today announced the launch of the Hunting Works for Arizona partnership. Stressing the major impact hunting has on Arizona’s economy, the organization pointed to sportsmen and women as key drivers of in-state commerce.
Rep. Jerry Weiers, House Representative from Glendale and HWFA Co-Chair said, “Hunting Works for Arizona members are advocates for public policy which supports jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization we are going to help explain the key role that hunting plays in both the heritage and economic health of Arizona.”
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, each year 148,000 people hunt in Arizona, spending over a two-hundred million dollars on lodging, food, gas, and gear while paying over $15.3 million in state taxes. To put this in perspective, the taxes paid by hunters could pay 443 Arizona teachers’ salaries.
Richard Sprague, owner of Sprague’s Sport in Yuma, applauded Hunting Works for Arizona for shining a spotlight on the economic benefits derived from hunting in Arizona. “Ask any hunter, the guns and ammunition are probably the least expensive parts of hunting and the 11% excise taxes paid on them go right to the state fish and wildlife agency and are used for wildlife conservation,” said Sprague who passionately supports the heritage of hunting, “Before the hunt we start with purchasing a license and most of those proceeds go to fund wildlife in Arizona. Then, we buy our hunting gear from local sporting goods retailers and parts of those proceeds go to fund wildlife in our state through the Pittman Robertson Act which is the key funding driver for conservation projects statewide. Then, we book our hotels. When the hunt nears we fill our coolers with food from the local supermarket and then buy gas, coffee and snacks at the local convenience store. And if we are lucky after the hunt we pay to have the game processed and head to local diners and watering holes to share our stories.”
According to HWFA this pattern of spending happens all over the state, with each hunter spending on average $1,380 dollars per season to pursue their passion.
“Many people don’t understand the cause and effect relationship hunting has on Arizona’s economy,” said Tom Britt Co-Chair of HWFA. “Hunters directly support more jobs in Arizona than many of the state’s biggest employers – over 4,200 jobs – and indirectly support thousands more!”
Britt added, “According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the $211.5 million dollars spent by Arizona hunters each year equals nearly one-third the cash receipts from cattle production, the state’s top agricultural commodity. That’s a really big deal.”
The newly formed Hunting Works for Arizona partnership has more than 40 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is being supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“The HWFA partners have a story to tell about the important economic chain involving hunting,” concluded Britt. “Hunting specifically supports thousands of jobs, both rural and urban, across the state of Arizona. Our group, Hunting Works for Arizona, will give a voice to all of those stakeholders.”
The HWFA partnership will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Arizona jobs. Hunting Works for Arizona will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Arizona’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
About the Hunting Works for Arizona Partnership
Hunting Works for Arizona is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities. HWFA members are advocates for public policy who support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Arizona.
Hunting Works for Arizona was formed in part as a response to the growth of politically motivated, anti-hunting groups across America. Many anti-hunting groups would like to limit, make more expensive and even ban hunting altogether. The actions of these groups are eroding our heritage and damaging state economies and local businesses that depend on hunters for their livelihoods. All this is occurring at a time when hunter numbers are declining and we are facing tough economic times.
For more information on Hunting Works for Arizona, please visit www.HUNTINGWORKSFORAZ.com