CROSSETT (AGFC) –
Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas generated $19.6 million
in economic benefit for the counties of Ashley, Bradley, Drew and Union
in Fiscal Year 2011, according to a new economic analysis. The revenue
boosted retail sales, taxes and job income, and came from visitor
spending tied to recreation activities on the refuge.
returned nearly $39.3 million in total economic benefit, which is the
total recreational expenditures plus net economic value. Economic value
is the difference between the total value received from participating in
a recreational activity and the total amount paid to participate in the
come from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, called Banking on
Nature, which used 92 of the more than 550 national wildlife refuges for
its economic sampling.
refuges pumped $2.4 billion into the economy and supported more than
35,000 private-sector jobs in fiscal year 2011. Refuges contributed an
average $4.87 in total economic output for every $1 appropriated and
produced nearly $793 million in job income for local communities. The
refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the
National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's greatest network of lands
dedicated to wildlife conservation but is also an important contributor
to our economy, attracting more than 46 million visitors from around
the world who support local restaurants, hotels, and other businesses,"
said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. "Every dollar we invest in
our refuge system and other public lands generates huge dividends for
The refuge offers hunting, fishing and trails for hiking and watching wildlife.
examined visitor spending in four areas − food, lodging, transportation
and other expenses (such as guide fees, land-use fees and equipment
rental). Local economies were defined as those within 50 miles of each
of the 92 refuges studied.