March 8, 2017
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
Contact: Chamois Andersen
A University of Wyoming (UW) study on the economic impacts of hunting and fishing in Sublette County shows sportsmen provide millions of dollars to the local economy. In 2015, hunters and anglers injected $22.2 million into the local economy, and combined with 22 other counties in Wyoming, on the whole, sportsmen significantly contribute to the state’s overall tourism economy.
The Sublette County study was conducted by Tex Taylor, economist with UW’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Taylor’s research revealed that hunters spent an estimated $15.5 million in Sublette County and anglers spent another $6.7 million in 2015 alone. In addition, nearly 13,000 fishing licenses were sold in the county that same year.
“The popularity of hunting and fishing with both residents and nonresidents indicates that these recreational activities are important both in terms their contributions to the local economy and for their contributions to the residents’ quality of life,” says Taylor, author of the report.
The Sublette County study is one in a series of economic reports produced by UW for the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) and commissioned by the Wyoming Wildlife Federation (WWF). Mike Crosson, the sportsmen seat for the Sublette Advisory Committee, will introduce the study at today’s meeting in Pinedale. This committee as well as others in the state have been assembled to craft a recommendation for Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) that fall within their county. The WPLI is anticipated to culminate in congressional legislation for the WSAs, in participating counties, for Wyoming. The Sublette County report and an infographic are available via WWF’s website and clickable map (click here).
The economic model Taylor used for this study is based on data from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The total $15.5 million in hunting expenditures in Sublette County was based on hunter day estimates from Game and Fish’s 2015 Annual Harvest Reports, compiled by hunt area. UW’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center provided the GIS analysis for the study.
The hunting expenditures portion of the economic model was based on the USFWS National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2011), and included two expenditure estimates that Taylor adjusted to 2015 dollars: $90.91 per day is spent by residents and $579.82 per day by nonresidents. This amounted to the $15.5 million in 2015 spent by hunters. The data also shows how many days hunters were in the field. Hunters of big game and trophy game spent 92,000 hunting days in Sublette County in 2015.
For fishing, the spending estimate totaled more than $6.7 million. Taylor used USFWS annual individual expenditures in Wyoming by anglers who purchased their annual fishing license, as well as USFWS daily individual expenditures by anglers who purchased a one-day license. From USFWS data for average fishing days in Wyoming, it is estimated that the users of these fishing licenses participated in more than 58,000 angler-days in Wyoming.
“It is important to note that the dollars that are spent locally generate secondary impacts in various other support sectors within the local economy, such as utilities, business services, and employee household expenditures,” Taylor says.
These studies include the other participating counties under the WPLI, as commissioned by WWF and with the support of the Wyoming Sportsmen’s Alliance, eight groups representing more than 30,000 hunters and anglers.
Please see the WWF website for information on the participating counties, at https://wyomingwildlife.org/public-lands/wpli/.