Sportsmen, Retailers, and Business Leaders Join Forces to Promote Hunting
Washington Partnership to highlight hunting’s economic impact
(Spokane, WA) – A group of local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, chambers of commerce, small businesses and retailers announced a new partnership called Hunting Works For Washington today. Hunting is a major driver of in-state commerce, contributing significant amounts of money to local economies and independent businesses. Hunting Works For Washington partners have come together in order to advocate on behalf of hunting and the shooting sports with a more unified voice.
“I think Hunting Works For Washington has really hit on a topic that not many people are talking about,” said Scott Miller, owner of the Miller Ranch and a co-chair of Hunting Works For Washington. “Our customers often travel considerable distances to hunt at our ranch, so not only is my businesses benefiting from hunters, but every business they touch on their way to me is seeing a benefit. That spending has a considerable impact, and when we are talking about supporting hunters and hunting we need to be mindful of that impact.”
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, 219,000 people hunt in Washington each year. These hunters are a considerable economic force in the state, spending $370 million annually. Washington hunters spend over $163 million on hunting trips and over $156 million on equipment.
“The money that hunters spend in my district is critical. It supports locally-owned businesses that support jobs and families,” said Rep. Shelly Short, one of the co-chairs of Hunting Works For Washington. “The economic impacts of hunting are felt throughout the state but especially in rural communities like those in the 7th District. When I heard about this group, I knew I had to be involved! I also want to make sure that future generations have the opportunity and the right to hunt in order to provide for themselves and their families.”
While the economic contributions of hunters are considerable, hunters’ dollars also pay for conservation efforts. Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act, hunters pay an 11 percent excise tax on equipment sales that is used to conserve and restore habitat.
“Without hunters Washington would be poorer in many ways,” said Mark Pidgeon, president of Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation and the hunters Heritage Council and a co-chair of Hunting Works For Washington. “Fewer hunters means less spending at businesses, but it would also mean less money for conservation, less money to protect the wild places every Washingtonian loves.”
The newly formed Hunting Works For Washington partnership has over 50 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“Hunting and shooting are major economic drivers in towns across Washington state; we support hunters and their economic impact, after all we all benefit,” concluded Nathan Green, co-chair of Hunting Works For Washington and president of the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce.
Hunting Works For Washington will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Washington jobs. Hunting Works For Washington will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Washington’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
Contact: Mike Knuth