From left are David Leinweber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, Bill Dvorak and David Dragoo.
(David Leinweber, owner of Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs, traveled to D.C. with members of the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, a coalition led by the National Wildlife Federation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited.)
I just finished up a trip to Washington DC. Trout Unlimited had asked me to be a part of a team that met with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and staff members of a few Colorado politicians. For the record, Doug Lamborn's office would not meet with us.
Our message was that the Oil and Gas Industry was not the only industry that depends on public lands. The Outdoor Industry, with $646 billion of consumer spending, is much larger than $354 billion spent on oil and gas.
The Outdoor Industry, including hunting and fishing, has far more values when it comes to long-term economic business development. This is especially true in small rural communities where oil and gas provide less than 2% of jobs compared to upwards of 70% for jobs related to outdoor recreation. In 2010, the Department of the Interior announced a new set of policies that were designed to help balance energy production and other values like fishing and hunting on federal lands.
It sounds simple, but it’s a layer of up-front analysis that hadn’t been happening before.
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