SALT LAKE CITY – A broad group of local and regional leaders representing Utah chambers of commerce, sporting organizations, small businesses and retailers announced yesterday the launch of the Hunting Works For Utah partnership. Highlighting the major impact hunting has on Utah’s economy, the organization pointed to sportsmen and -women as key drivers of instate commerce.
“Hunting Works For Utah will promulgate a public policy agenda that is in the interests of Utah hunters and, as such, is in the interests of Utah,” Hunting Works Co-chairman, Rep. Curtis Oda, said. “Hunting creates and sustains jobs and stimulates economic growth. Utah hunters are an enormous boon to our state.”
According to a recent study conducted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, those hunters spend approximately $550 million each year on the sport and the resulting economic impact translates to $62.5 million in state and local tax revenue, 12,700 jobs, and a $925 million ripple effect on the state economy.
“Hunters and Utah small businesses have a mutually beneficial relationship. I think it is fantastic that this group exists to educate the public about the enormous, and little known, positive contribution hunters make to our economy,” said David Worwood, National Wild Turkey Federation (Utah Chapter) president and Hunting Works For Utah co-chair.
Vernal Chamber of Commerce executive director and Hunting Works For Utah co-chair Adam Massey said he applauded Hunting Works For Utah for bringing the economic impact of hunting to the forefront.
“Nearly 200,000 people hunt in Utah each year, and each hunter spends an average of $2,600 in Utah per season,” Massey said. “Utah business owners see the impact of that influx of hunters every year, and I’ve often thought that this relationship should be further cultivated and protected.”
Greg Sheehan, director at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources pointed out the benefits of hunting are not limited to the economy. He said:
Hunters directly benefit Utah conservation efforts. Through the Pittman-Robertson Act, hunters pay an 11 percent excise tax on equipment. The revenue from this tax is used to conserve and restore habitat, which benefits both game and non-game species. Sportsmen provide the bulk of the monies used to manage wildlife. I am thrilled to participate in an organization that aims to educate the public about the profound impact hunters have on our state’s conservation efforts, as well as our economy.
The newly formed Hunting Works For Utah has 30 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is being supported by organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“The formation of Hunting Works For Utah is long overdue,” Oda said. “Hunting supports 12,700 jobs across the state, generates millions in tax revenue, and is a huge economic driver. The positive impact of hunting is real and our group will provide a voice for stakeholders across the state and facilitate dialogue about relevant public policy matters.”
Hunting Works will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Utah jobs. It will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Utah’s hunting heritage positively affects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
About Hunting Works for Utah
Hunting Works For Utah is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities and membership is free of charge. Hunting Works For Utah members are advocates for public policy that supports 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 Utah.
Release by: Hunting Works for Utah