Great Falls Tribune

June 10, 2006

Number of the week:  2.9 billion

In a report to the Western Governors Association, an official of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership said that's how much hunting and fishing on protected public land contribute to the economies of adjacent communities.
That represents the combined dollars spent in one year in Montana, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.
In Montana alone, the total amount spent on hunting and fishing for one year was more than $530 million.

That's a lot of shells and lures. "If hunters and anglers comprised a corporation, they'd be in the top 3 percent of the Fortune 500 list," said Bill Geer, a policy initiative manager for the partnership. "By virtue of their economic impact alone, sportsmen's views on land protection need to be at the forefront as our governors consider whether to petition for the protection of inventoried roadless areas in their states."