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2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation

March 18, 2014 Comments off

2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation (PDF)
Source: National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. This economic effects analysis measures how NPS visitor spending cycles through local economies, generating business sales and supporting jobs and income.

In 2012, the National Park System received over 282 million recreation visits. NPS visitors spent $14.7 billion in local gateway regions (defined as communities within 60 miles of a park). The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 243 thousand jobs, $9.3 billion in labor income, $15.8 billion in value added, and $26.8 billion in output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct contributions with more than 40 thousand jobs and $4.5 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally. The sector with the next greatest direct contributions was restaurants and bars, with 51 thousand jobs and $3 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally.

This 2012 analysis marks a major revision to the NPS visitor spending effects analyses, with the development of a new visitor spending effects model (VSE model) that replaces the former Money Generation Model (MGM2). Many of the hallmarks and processes of the MGM2 model are preserved in the new VSE model, but the new model makes significant strides in improving the accuracy and transparency of the analysis. Because of this change from the MGM2 model to the VSE model, estimates from this year’s analysis are not directly comparable to previous analyses.

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Using social media to quantify nature-based tourism and recreation

October 23, 2013 Comments off

Using social media to quantify nature-based tourism and recreation
Source: Scientific Reports

Scientists have traditionally studied recreation in nature by conducting surveys at entrances to major attractions such as national parks. This method is expensive and provides limited spatial and temporal coverage. A new source of information is available from online social media websites such as flickr. Here, we test whether this source of “big data” can be used to approximate visitation rates. We use the locations of photographs in flickr to estimate visitation rates at 836 recreational sites around the world, and use information from the profiles of the photographers to derive travelers’ origins. We compare these estimates to empirical data at each site and conclude that the crowd-sourced information can indeed serve as a reliable proxy for empirical visitation rates. This new approach offers opportunities to understand which elements of nature attract people to locations around the globe, and whether changes in ecosystems will alter visitation rates.

Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States: critical load exceedances

October 13, 2013 Comments off

Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States: critical load exceedances
Source: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

National parks in the United States are protected areas wherein the natural habitat is to be conserved for future generations. Deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) transported from areas of human activity (fuel combustion, agriculture) may affect these natural habitats if it exceeds an ecosystem-dependent critical load (CL). We quantify and interpret the deposition to Class I US national parks for present-day and future (2050) conditions using the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model with 1/2° × 2/3° horizontal resolution over North America. We estimate CL values in the range 2.5–5 kg N ha−1 yr−1 for the different parks to protect the most sensitive ecosystem receptors. For present-day conditions, we find 24 out of 45 parks to be in CL exceedance and 14 more to be marginally so. Many of these are in remote areas of the West. Most (40–85%) of the deposition originates from NOx emissions (fuel combustion). We project future changes in N deposition using representative concentration pathway (RCP) anthropogenic emission scenarios for 2050. These feature 52–73% declines in US NOx emissions relative to present but 19–50% increases in US ammonia (NH3) emissions. Nitrogen deposition at US national parks then becomes dominated by domestic NH3 emissions. While deposition decreases in the East relative to present, there is little progress in the West and increases in some regions. We find that 17–25 US national parks will have CL exceedances in 2050 based on the RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. Even in total absence of anthropogenic NOx emissions, 14–18 parks would still have a CL exceedance. Returning all parks to N deposition below CL by 2050 would require at least a 50% decrease in US anthropogenic NH3 emissions relative to RCP-projected 2050 levels.

Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda: A Workshop Summary (2013)

August 28, 2013 Comments off

Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda: A Workshop Summary (2013)
Source: National Research Council

Much of the ecological research in the past decades has focused on rural or wilderness areas. Today, however, ecological research has been taking place in our cities, where our everyday decisions can have profound effects on our environment. This research, or urban ecology, includes an important element, trees. Trees have had a variety of environmental benefits for our environment including the sequestering carbon, reducing urban heat island effects, providing vital habitat for wildlife, and making nature accessible. These benefits have important impacts on the physical, socio-economic, and mental health of humans as well. Being exposed to trees has been shown to enhance social cohesion, improve health and recreational opportunities, and increase real estate values.

In order to gain more knowledge into this urban forestry, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) held a workshop February 25-26, 2013. The workshop brought together more than 100 people with various interests in urban forestry research to share information and perspectives, foster communication across specific areas of ecosystem service research, and consider integrated approaches that cut across these realms. The workshop specifically examined current capabilities to characterize and quantify the benefits, key gaps in our understanding, the challenges of planning urban forests in a way that optimizes multiple ecosystem services and more.

Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda: A Workshop Summary presents an overview of the issues discussed by the workshop’s breakout groups; summarizes presentations from the four panels which included Biophysical Services of the Urban Forest; and context for the study with introductory material from the workshop.

CPSC data show most child drownings occur in backyard pools; no entrapment deaths since 2008

July 19, 2013 Comments off

CPSC data show most child drownings occur in backyard pools; no entrapment deaths since 2008
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

A new report out today from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveals that children younger than age 5 represent more than 75 percent of all pool and spa submersion deaths and 78 percent of pool and spa submersion injuries in the United States involving children younger than 15 years of age. Government data also show that African-American and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at a higher risk of drowning.

“Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and minority children drown in pools at an alarming rate,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The lives of countless children can be saved this summer. Take simple safety steps today—teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water.”

CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign is focusing its attention on populations most at risk of drowning:

  • Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represented 67 percent of reported fatalities and 64 percent of injuries.
  • African American children between the ages of 5 and 19 are six times more likely to drown in pools than white and Hispanic children that age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data from USA Swimming indicate that 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them more likely to drown.

Trends in developed forest camping

July 10, 2013 Comments off

Trends in developed forest camping
Source: U.S. Forest Service

Over the past 40 years, the number of forest campers has grown from 13 million in the 1960s to approximately 56 million in 2000 (table 4.6). Camping is now one of the more common ways that Americans spend time in the outdoors, with over one-fourth of the U.S. population participating in some form of camping.

New From the GAO

June 27, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies

Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Defense Forensics: Additional Planning and Oversight Needed to Establish an Enduring Expeditionary Forensic Capability. GAO-13-447, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-447
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655547.pdf

2. Army Industrial Operations: Budgeting and Management of Carryover Could Be Improved. GAO-13-499, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-499
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655567.pdf

3. Gas Pipeline Safety: Guidance and More Information Needed before Using Risk-Based Reassessment Intervals. GAO-13-577, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-577
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655577.pdf

4. Contractor Performance: DOD Actions to Improve the Reporting of Past Performance Information. GAO-13-589, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-589
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655595.pdf

5. Forest Service Trails: Long- and Short-Term Improvements Could Reduce Maintenance Backlog and Enhance System Sustainability. GAO-13-618, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-618
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655556.pdf

6. Defense Acquisitions: Goals and Associated Metrics Needed to Assess Progress in Improving Service Acquisition. GAO-13-634, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-634
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655606.pdf

7. Military Bases: DOD Has Processes to Comply with Statutory Requirements for Closing or Realigning Installations. GAO-13-645, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-645
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655561.pdf

Testimonies

1. Border Security: Progress and Challenges in DHS Implementation and Assessment Efforts, by Rebecca Gambler, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on National Security, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-13-653T, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-653T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655540.pdf

2. School Lunch: Modifications Needed to Some of the New Nutrition Standards, by Kay E. Brown, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, House Committee on Education and the Workforce. GAO-13-708T, June 27.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-708T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655544.pdf

Protecting National Park Soundscapes

June 11, 2013 Comments off

Protecting National Park Soundscapes

Source: National Academy of Engineering/National Park Service

America’s national parks provide a wealth of experiences to millions of people every year. What visitors see—landscapes, wildlife, cultural activities—often lingers in memory for life. And what they hear adds a dimension that sight alone cannot provide. Natural sounds can dramatically enhance visitors’ experience of many aspects of park environments. In some settings, such as the expanses of Yellowstone National Park, they can even be the best way to enjoy wildlife, because animals can be heard at much greater distances than they can be seen. Sounds can also be a natural complement to natural scenes, whether the rush of water over a rocky streambed or a ranger’s explanation of a park’s history. In other settings, such as the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, sounds are the main reason for visiting a park.

The acoustical environment is also important to the well-being of the parks themselves. Many species of wildlife depend on their hearing to find prey or avoid predators. If they cannot hear, their survival is jeopardized—and the parks where they live may in turn lose part of their natural heritage. For all these reasons it is important to be aware of noise (defined as unwanted sound, and in this case usually generated by humans or machinery), which can degrade the acoustical environment, or soundscape, of parks. Just as smog smudges the visual horizon, noise obscures the listening horizon for both visitors and wildlife. This is especially true in places, such as remote wilderness areas, where extremely low sound levels are common. The National Park Service (NPS) has determined that park facilities, operations, and maintenance activities produce a substantial portion of noise in national parks and thus recognizes the need to provide park managers with guidance for protecting the natural soundscape from such noise. Therefore, the focus of the workshop was to define what park managers can do to control noise from facilities, operations, and maintenance, and not on issues such as the effects of noise on wildlife, noise metrics, and related topics.

To aid in this effort, NPS joined with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and with the US Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to hold a workshop to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s array of parks. Entitled "Protecting National Park Soundscapes: Best Available Technologies and Practices for Reducing Park- Generated Noise," the workshop took place October 3-4, 2012, at NPS’s Natural Resource Program Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Protecting National Park Soundscapes is a summary of the workshop.

2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Final National Report Released

December 28, 2012 Comments off

2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Final National Report Released

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife-related outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011. The national details are shown in the final report (Final Report) of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The Final Report, which follows the August 2012 Preliminary Review and the September 2012 State Overview, provides more information on the types of activities and money spent for fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.

Highlights of the Final Report include:

  • More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011; that is up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted.
  • Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, which equated to 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.
  • The number of sportspersons rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011. The data show that 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.

CRS — Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Other Wildlife Measures: S. 3525

November 13, 2012 Comments off

Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Other Wildlife Measures: S. 3525 (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

The House and Senate have been considering various approaches to open more federal lands to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. S. 3525 addresses some of the same topics as H.R. 4089, which passed the House on April 17, 2012. Both concern hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting, but the bills take different approaches. While H.R. 4089 directs changes to federal land management and land planning, S. 3525 allows existing management to continue, requiring only that land managers assemble priority lists to improve access for those activities.

Several issues related to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting are addressed in S. 3525. Hunting and conservation have been linked since the advent of federal wildlife legislation, such as the Lacey Act of 1900 (making it a federal crime to ship game killed in violation of one state’s laws to another state) or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (regulating the killing, hunting, buying, or selling of migratory birds). Even so, controversy exists about exactly what hunting, fishing, or shooting sports should be allowed on federal land, and when. A primary issue is whether opening more lands to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting should be balanced against good game management, public safety, resource management, and the statutory purposes of the lands. S. 3525 focuses on providing additional physical access to federal lands where these activities are already allowed. This would be accomplished through acquisition of lands or rights of way. S. 3525 would also expand or authorize certain sport fishing programs. In addition, it addresses the concerns of trophy hunters who killed polar bears in the months before the species was proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act or between the proposal and the actual listing. These hunters have not been allowed to import their trophies; the bill would allow specified imports of these trophies.

It would support a program of regional working groups to conserve populations of migratory birds. It would amend the duck stamp program, to allow the Secretary of the Interior to increase the price of the stamp at specified intervals. Such a change, which would provide additional funding for acquisition of waterfowl habitat, has been advocated among hunters for several years. S. 3525 would make funding changes for some of these activities, and reauthorize a number of conservation programs, as well as expanding an existing program to control nutria, a marshland pest.

S. 3525 was not referred to a committee, and consequently lacks a committee report. It was placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders on September 11, 2012; on September 20, 2012, a cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the measure was presented in Senate.

Reclaiming the Right of Way: A Toolkit for Creating and Implementing Parklets

November 1, 2012 Comments off

Reclaiming the Right of Way: A Toolkit for Creating and Implementing Parklets (PDF)

Source: Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA

The purpose of the Parklet Toolkit (toolkit) is to provide city staff and community members with practical guidance to support the development of small-scale parks, called parklets. Parklet programs and projects are spreading quickly across the nation, from San Francisco to New York and other cities profiled in the toolkit. This decision support toolkit is designed specifically to facilitate the development of parklet projects in the city of Los Angeles and encourage a parklet program that creates an institutionalized pathway for their installation. Despite the focus on Los Angeles, the program case studies, project guidelines, and other best practices presented in this toolkit are easily transferable to other communities across the nation.

Exploring the relationship between outdoor recreation activities, community participation, and environmental attitudes

March 22, 2012 Comments off

Exploring the relationship between outdoor recreation activities, community participation, and environmental attitudes
Source: U.S. Forest Service

The relationship between environmental attitudes (EA) and environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) has been the focus of several studies in environmental psychology and recreation research. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between EAs and ERBs at both a general level and at an activity-specific level using a 2009 survey of motorized recreationists (all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders). Questions to measure general attitudes were adapted from the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) and activity-specific environmental attitude questions were developed from the literature.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

2011 City Park Facts

March 14, 2012 Comments off
Trust for Public Land
The total area covered by urban parkland in the United States exceeds one and a half million acres, with parks ranging in size from the jewel-like 1.7-acre Post Office Square in Boston to the gargantuan 490,125-acre Chugach State Park in Anchorage. And their usage dwarfs that of the national parks—the most popular major parks, such as Lincoln Park in Chicago receive upwards of 20 million users each year, and New York’s Central Park gets about 35 million visits annually—more than seven times as many to the Grand Canyon.
Some cities have plenty of parkland that’s well distributed around town; others have enough land but an inequitable distribution; others are short of even a basic amount of park space for their citizens.
Through an annual survey, the Center for City Park Excellence maintains the nation’s most complete database of park facts for the 100 most populous U.S. cities. With the help of CCPE data, you can see how your city compares to others.

Full Report (PDF)

AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Study Shows Spending at National Parks Pumps $31 Billion into Local Economies, Supporting 258,000 Jobs

March 5, 2012 Comments off

AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Study Shows Spending at National Parks Pumps $31 Billion into Local Economies, Supporting 258,000 Jobs
Source: National Park Service

Visitors to the National Park System contributed more than $31 billion to local economies and supported 258,000 jobs in 2010, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009, according to a report issued by the National Park Service today.

Today’s announcement comes in advance of Friday’s White House Conference on Conservation being hosted at the Department of the Interior that will spotlight community-driven conservation efforts as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

The economic impact figures for the National Park System released today are based on $12 billion in direct spending by the 281 million visitors to parks in 2010 and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University.

+ Money Generation Model (MGM2) Reports

Associations Between Sociodemographic Characteristics and Perceptions of the Built Environment With the Frequency, Type, and Duration of Physical Activity Among Trail Users

February 27, 2012 Comments off
Introduction
Rail trails are elements of the built environment that support the Task Force on Community Preventive Services’ recommendation to create, or enhance access to, places for physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and perceptions of the built environment with the frequency, type, and duration of PA among users of an urban, paved rail trail segment.
Methods
Interviewers conducted intercept surveys with 431 rail trail users and analyzed data by using logistic regression to estimate odds ratios between sociodemographic characteristics and perceptions of the built environment on the frequency, type, and duration of PA performed on the trail.
Results
Adults who used the trail in the cool months, traveled to the trail by a motorized vehicle, used the trail with others, and had some graduate school education visited the trail less often. Younger adults, men, whites, and those with some graduate school education were more likely to engage in vigorous activities on the trail. Adults who traveled to the trail by a motorized vehicle spent more time engaged in PA on the trail.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that the most frequent users of a rail trail for PA are those who use the trail alone and travel to the trail by bicycle or on foot. Trails are an aspect of the built environment that supports active lifestyles, and future studies should evaluate different types of trails among more diverse populations and locations.

Creeping Corporatization of National Parks

January 27, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
As the National Park System prepares for its centennial in 2016 it is turning toward corporate funding for support, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). A core strategy announced by National Park Service (NPS) leaders in August 2011 is creating a billion dollar corporate-financed endowment outside the federal appropriation process.
Today through January 26th, an invitation-only summit in Washington, DC focuses on how to build support for the NPS agenda, called a Call to Action.  While not hosted by the NPS, the summit is being staged by the National Park Foundation, the congressionally-chartered fundraising arm for NPS, and the network representing park vendors and concessionaires.  “America’s Summit on National Parks” does, however, feature NPS and Interior Department officials from both the Obama and Bush administrations.
One of the main financial sponsors of the summit is Coca Cola, which recently leveraged its substantial contributions channeled through the National Park Foundation to temporarily block a ban on disposable plastic water bottle sales at Grand Canyon National Park.  Coca Cola is a major water bottler whose products would have been affected. Five weeks after the company’s role was exposed in November 2011, NPS backed off its veto of Grand Canyon’s plans.

See how corporate contributions confer access and influence (PDF)
Look at the Coca Cola Proud Partner agreement (PDF)
Revisit Coke role in blocking plastic bottle ban
View Coke sponsorship of the summit
Examine the NPS Call to Action (Step # 29) (PDF)

Made in America: New Report Finds National Parks at a Tipping Point Leading Into Super Committee Deadline

November 13, 2011 Comments off

Made in America: New Report Finds National Parks at a Tipping Point Leading Into Super Committee Deadline
Source: National Parks Conservation Association

As Washington policymakers await action by the Congressional Super Committee, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today released a new report titled “Made in America: Investing in National Parks for Our Heritage and Our Economy,” which details how national parks and visitors could be impacted if the Super Committee fails and mandatory across-the-board cuts are made to the federal budget. The report also finds that investing in national parks not only protects our national heritage, but is critical to supporting the livelihood of businesses and communities across the country.

From the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina to Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana and Olympic National Park in Washington, the new report examines a sample of our most challenged national parks and the long-term consequences that additional funding cuts could have on our national treasures. For the second year in a row, America’s national parks face the likely erosion of funding necessary to serve the public and protect park resources. The report finds that additional budget cuts could jeopardize visitor services at national parks across the country.

In the past two years, park visitation has been higher than it has been in a decade—yet national parks suffer from an annual operations shortfall of $500-$600 million, and receive $325 million less per year than necessary to keep an $11 billion maintenance backlog from getting worse. Further cuts could mean fewer rangers to greet visitors, reduced visitor center hours, shortened campground seasons, closure of entrance stations and backcountry trails, fewer educational programs, and reduced law enforcement patrols to safeguard America’s heritage.

+ Full Report

America’s Great Outdoors: Salazar Releases 50-State Report Highlighting Projects to Promote Conservation, Outdoor Recreation

November 7, 2011 Comments off

America’s Great Outdoors: Salazar Releases 50-State Report Highlighting Projects to Promote Conservation, Outdoor Recreation
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a final 50-State America’s Great Outdoors Report outlining more than 100 of the country’s most promising projects designed to protect special places and increase access to outdoor spaces. The full report – which contains two projects per state – comes as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative to establish a community-based, 21st century agenda for conservation, recreation, and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.

The full list released today includes:

  • 24 projects to restore and provide recreational access to rivers and other waterways – such as establishing the Connecticut River as a National Blueway and expanding recreational opportunities at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in the Twin Cities;
  • 23 projects to construct new trails or improve recreational sites – such as completing gaps in the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin and expanding the multi-use Shingle Creek Trail in Florida;
  • 20 projects that will create and enhance urban parks – such as rehabilitating wetlands habitat and building new outdoor recreational opportunities on Chicago’s South Side and increasing river access at Roberto Clemente State Park and restoring the Harlem River in the Bronx; and
  • 13 projects that will restore and conserve America’s most significant landscapes – such as conserving Montana’s Crown of the Continent, establishing the Flint Hills of Kansas as a new easement-based conservation area, and conserving the native grasslands of North and South Dakota.
  • The list also includes 11 initiatives requested by states to establish new national wildlife refuges, national park units and other federal designations; five projects that will assist states and communities to protect key open space; and five initiatives to educate young people and connect them to nature.

+ Full Report (PDF)
+ Map of projects

New Report Shows US Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries Program Helps Support 68,000 Jobs in U.S. Economy

November 5, 2011 Comments off

New Report Shows US Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries Program Helps Support 68,000 Jobs in U.S. Economy
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in association with state agencies and other conservation organizations, contributes $3.6 billion to the nation’s economy and supports 68,000 jobs across the country, according to a new report issued by the agency.

Overall, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation contribute an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy each year, Salazar noted. One in twenty U.S. jobs are in the recreation economy – more than there are doctors, lawyers, or teachers.

The report, Conserving America’s Fisheries, An Assessment of Economic Contributions from Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation, shows that each dollar invested in the Service’s Fisheries Program, combined with its partners, generates about $28 in economic contributions and value.

The economic contributions generated are evidenced at sporting goods stores, marinas, guides and outfitter services, boat dealerships, bait shops, gas stations, cafes, hotels, and many other enterprises.

+ Summary (PDF)
+ Full Report (PDF)

Ozone Levels in National Parks Continue to Increase, Parks Group Asks Congress Not to Strip Out Protections Against the Dangerous Pollutant

September 19, 2011 Comments off

Ozone Levels in National Parks Continue to Increase, Parks Group Asks Congress Not to Strip Out Protections Against the Dangerous Pollutant
Source: National Parks Conservation Association

Each year, tens of millions of people visit picturesque national parks like Joshua Tree National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Sequoia National Park expecting clean, healthy air, but increasingly they are putting themselves at risk for serious respiratory and pulmonary illnesses caused by ozone pollution in these parks. Today, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has released a pointed report on this growing threat to our national parks that also details how two pieces of pending legislation in Congress threaten to exacerbate the situation even more.

Report findings indicate that so far this year there have been 234 exceedances of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health-based ozone standard in 18 of the national parks with ozone monitors, resulting in a number of “Code Red” days when even healthy people are advised to protect their lungs by avoiding vigorous outdoor exercise – precisely what many visitors come to the parks to do. That number compares with 223 national park ozone exceedances in all of 2010 and 196 in all of 2009. And there are still two months remaining in the current ozone season. In both 2009 and 2010, national parks had dozens of exceedances of the ozone standard in September and October.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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