Fish, wildlife and Washington's economy (2012)
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Fish, wildlife and Washington's economy (2012)

Category: Agency Plans and Reports - Agency Budget

Date Published: November 2011

Number of Pages: 4


Fish and wildlife activities support business and jobs

Spending by fishers, hunters and wildlife viewers generates more than $4.5 billion annually for Washington state’s economy. Their spending supports jobs and small businesses around the state, particularly in rural areas. They keep cash registers ringing in restaurants, motels, gas stations, convenience stores and sporting-goods outlets.

Broad benefits for citizens

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) manages the state’s fish and wildlife resources and related recreational and commercial opportunities.

WDFW operates on a combination of user fees, contracts with federal and local agencies and state General Fund dollars. General Fund support comprises less than a quarter of WDFW’s operating budget and pays for services that benefit citizens across the state, including those who don’t fish or hunt. Salmon-recovery efforts, habitat protection, production of salmon sold in markets and restaurants and public safety protection are among the activities supported by general revenue.

Users are paying for services

Fishers, hunters and other users of state recreation lands pay to support their pursuits. The cost of hunting and fishing licenses was increased by an average of 10 percent by the 2011 Legislature. At the same time, visitors to state recreation lands—including wildlife areas and water-access sites managed by WDFW—are required to purchase an annual vehicle-access pass, known as the Discover Pass, to help meet the cost of land maintenance.