Sportsmen, retailers weigh impact of hunting on economy
A wide-ranging group of sportsmen, business leaders and wildlife officials came together Tuesday at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, 2999 North Ave., to highlight the vital impact hunting makes on Colorado’s economy.
For example, some 295,000 people hunt in Colorado each year and spend an estimated $185 million on hunting equipment and $221 million on trip-related expenses here every year.
The “ripple effect” that spending has on the state’s economy is about $763 million, organizers of the new Hunting Works for Colorado group said Tuesday.
The group — which includes businesses from across the state — has the mission of promoting the strong economic partnership between the hunting and shooting communities and the local economy.
Member businesses include sporting retailers big and small, restaurant owners, hotel and motel operators, gas stations and convenience stores, and chambers of commerce, as well as other entities with a stake in the Colorado hunting and shooting economy.
“It’s important to recognize that hunters are not only helping our local economies, but they’re also very integral to conservation efforts statewide,” said Gaspar Perricone, president of the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance and a Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioner, as well as a co-chair of the new organization.
Perricone said that the sale of hunting licenses, stamps and fees is the primary source of funding for wildlife management, hunter youth and recruitment programs. as well as conservation efforts across Colorado.
Another co-chairman of Hunting Works for Colorado, Patrick Martinez, said the new advocacy group will be front and center in the debate going forward.
“In the weeks, months and years ahead, (Hunting Works for Colorado) will be promoting the economic impact of hunters and recreational shooters by speaking at chambers of commerce and visiting media outlets, attending outdoors shows, speaking to conservation groups, and by other means as opportunities present themselves,” said Martinez, who is a recently retired biologist with the Colorado Department of Wildlife and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
The new Colorado hunting and shooting advocacy group is modeled on similar programs found in other states, including a similar group formed in Utah.
More information about the Colorado group can be found at http://www.huntingworksforco.com.