PIERRE, S.D. – Outdoor and wildlife-associated recreation contributes $1.3 billion annually to the South Dakota economy according to a recent report from the Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP).
“Large numbers of hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts spend many days enjoying the great outdoors of South Dakota,” stated Kelly Hepler, GFP department secretary. “Hunting, fishing, camping and outdoor recreation have long been a fundamental part of the South Dakota experience. Those who participate in these activities create a significant economic engine, supporting thousands of jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in labor income and growth within our state’s economy.”
Both residents and non-residents who visited state parks in 2016, fished, hunted, trapped, boated or viewed wildlife in South Dakota recreated for a combined total of 18.6 million days. Participating in these activities typically involves spending money on travel, supplies and equipment. Collectively anglers, hunters, trappers, wildlife viewers, boaters, state park visitors and snowmobilers spend $1.3 billion in South Dakota annually in support of these activities.
The top three activities accounting for nearly 90 percent of the $1.3 billion are hunting ($683 million), fishing ($271 million) and state park visitation ($212 million), supporting an estimated 18,000 full- and part-time jobs which provide $520 million of income.
The Department estimates the total economic contributions to be nearly $1.9 billion.
Historically, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has relied on estimates from national surveys to determine the economic effects of outdoor and wildlife-associated recreation. In 2016, GFP commissioned a study to specifically estimate the economic activity generated by hunting, fishing, state park visitation and other outdoor recreation activities in South Dakota.
To view the 2016 economic impact study reports in more detail, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/information/economic-impact.aspx. An infographic outlining the highlights of the report is also included here.