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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign

Wild Forests: Good for Business and Recreation

Hiker in Stream Each year nearly 150 million Americans enjoy the outdoors by hiking, rock climbing, bird-watching, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, paddling and fishing. Our national forests draw ever-increasing numbers of visitors because they provide outdoor recreation seekers a diversity of landscapes in which to pursue their outdoor passions.

A report by the Outdoor Industry Association documented a shift in the mindset of outdoor recreation participants from being motivated by adventure to seeking peace and solitude. Fortunately, our national forests offer outdoor enthusiasts both, especially the roadless areas within these forests.

The National Forest System shelters the remaining 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas. These last wild forests protect our water, sustain our wildlife and guarantee that current and future generations will have access to some of America's most pristine outdoor playgrounds.

Learn more about endless recreational opportunities available in America's roadless areas.

Wild Forests are Good for Business

Outdoor Products

The Active Outdoor Recreation Economy by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, estimates the $730 billion economic contribution of active outdoor recreation (bicycling, camping, fishing, hunting, paddling, snow sports, wildlife viewing, trail-running, hiking and climbing) to the US economy. Additionally, outdoor recreation supports nearly 6.5 million jobs, generates $88 billion in annual state and national tax revenue and generates $289 billion annually in retails sales and services across the U.S. The report demonstrates the active outdoor recreation is more than just Big Fun it is a huge economic driver throughout the United States. The report is more than just a tally of industry gear sales. It estimates travel-related expenditures, jobs and taxes generated, and includes a regional breakout of active outdoor recreation impacts on regional economies.

The American people are adventurers, and given our increasingly busy lives; we will continue to seek special places for recreation and solitude. Protecting roadless areas of our national forests ensures that outdoor enthusiasts will have places to play in and be inspired by. Wild forest conservation supports the continued vigor and profitability of national and local outdoor businesses. Find out more about the economics of roadless areas: https://ourforests.org/roadless/economics.html

Outdoor Industry Association Economic Reports:

How Your Business Can Help

In recent years, outdoor recreation businesses have partnered with the conservation community to protect America's wildlands. Hundreds of national and local businesses whose customers use and enjoy wild forests have proclaimed the importance of protecting these last pristine places.

Currently our last wild forests enjoy the full protections of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, but uncertainty remains. Despite three decades of study and debate, the nation may ultimately not have a coherent roadless policy thus millions of acres of roadless areas are vulnerable to industrial development in the future.

Protecting our last wild forests is an investment in recreation businesses and in future generations' natural heritage. The outdoor recreation and tourism industries are important sectors of the national and state economies and you can help protect our wild forests in several ways. To find out how else your business can help, please contact:

Seth Horstmeyer, Heritage Forests Campaign
[email protected]

Previous Story: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (Salt Lake City, January 27-30, 2007)

Your business's voice does make a difference!

In a meeting January 29th with executives and representatives from the outdoor recreation industry, in Salt Lake City for the annual Outdoor Retailer's Convention, Governor Jon Huntsman (R-UT) indicated he will abandon his plan to petition the Forest Service to lift protections from Utah's more than 4 million acres of roadless federal forest land.

For more information, read this press release from the Outdoor Industry Association.

Click on the links below to view materials created by the Heritage Forests Campaign for the 2007 Winter Market and click here (insert link to Gear and Antelope) to view HFC's ad running in the 2007 Summer Market

Groups working to protect roadless areas:
Photos of Forests