A host of recreation and conservation organizations from around the nation, including some local Wyoming groups, have asked Congress to address inadequate trail maintenance in the National Forest system. According to a 2013 study requested by Representative Cynthia Lummis the Forest Service’s trail maintenance backlog was $314 million in 2012. The study said poorly maintained trails inhibit trail use, could harm natural resources, and maintenance costs will only grow the longer the backlog remains unaddressed.
A new report from the Outdoor Industry Association quantifies the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in all fifty states. The study looked at direct spending, jobs, salaries and tax revenue.
Spokesperson Avery Stonich says the data demonstrates the value of outdoor recreation beyond the obvious – natural beauty and fun.
“Wyoming has a lot of really great recreation opportunities,” says Stonich, “this produces consumer spending to the tune of four and a half billion dollars every year that’s going directly into the state economy.”
It isn’t easy to get your kids to play outdoors, but the National Wildlife Federation is encouraging families to make that a New Year’s resolution. The “Be Out There” campaign offers tips and advice to parents who pledge to help get their kids to play outdoors every week.
Campaign manager Lindsay Legendre says their survey found that 94 percent of parents say kids aren’t getting enough time outside. The barriers include things such as weather, concerns about safety, and the lure of technology. Legendre says their website offers some solutions.
A new study from the group Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development says that rural communities depend on adjacent land for their economic health. That can either be land for energy development or the outdoors. The report finds that ten percent of the jobs in Cody are connected to spending on fishing, hunting and wildlife. But impact from nearby energy development land can also help the local economy. But Trout Unlimited’ s Brad Powell says there should be a balance between the two.