Durango Telegraph - Another cost of energy development
Another cost of energy development

Hunting and fishing are more than recreation; they are major economic drivers for the Durango-area and the entire state of Colorado.

A recent report by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Sonoran Institute, entitled “Backcountry Bounty,” details the link between excellent outdoors opportunities and prosperous local economies.

“If hunters and anglers comprised a corporation, they’d be in the top 3 percent of the Fortune 500 list,” said Bill Geer, with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The hunting and fishing industry generates an estimated $1.6 billion every year for the Colorado economy. With this in mind, Brian O’Donnell, director of Trout Unlimited’s Public Lands Initiative, asked that agencies like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management honor the long-term benefit of keeping crucial wildlife habitat free of oil and gas wells.

“When you look at hunting and fishing, it’s a resource that can perpetuate for generation after generation,” he said. “This is a longstanding benefit to many regions. When you drill and put a well pad in those areas, they can no longer sustain this longstanding economic benefit. We don’t think that fact’s being adequately considered.”

– Will Sands