Yup, you read the title correctly. The outdoor recreation industry has been valued by the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis at $387.7 billion and makes up 2% of the entire gross domestic product of the United States. To put this in perspective, the outdoor recreation industry’s 2% GDP contribution is more than the “mining, oil, and gas extraction” industries that account for 1.4% of the GDP.  These economic findings show the expansive impact that outdoor recreationists have on the nation’s economy. That impact is coupled with the power this industry now has to advocate in ways that strengthen itself and also preserving and protecting the environment.

This industry–whether it be fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, etc–has proven itself to be a major contributor to the US economy and now has the power to push its agenda. This new standing is important because now it can take on adversarial industries which degrade the lands and waters that are necessary for the outdoor recreation industry’s ability to sustain these economic contributions. Hopefully, the United States’ Government will realize the significant impact this industry has on the United States’ economy and protect the environment and public lands from the negative impacts of environmentally degrading actions. If the federal government fails to acknowledge the outdoor’s economic contributions, it will be up to grassroots organizations and all those who take part in outdoor recreation to show the collective power the outdoor recreation industry is capable of.   

For more information on this industry, check out the Outside Online article, “Government Puts Outdoor Industry Size at $373 Billion.”

Will Poston is a news contributor on the Flylords Content Team. Be sure to check him out on Instagram @will_poston!

Photos courtesy of Stefan Ågren (IG: @steagr_photography) and David Tejedor Royo (IG: @davidpikefly)