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      NATURE REPORT:Outdoors Generate Big Bucks

      A staggering eight billion dollars plus is generated every year in Texas by hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.

      Approximately, every five years or so since 1955 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation.

      The last survey data available is for 2006 and that year 87.5 million U.S. residents hunted, fished or watched wildlife.

      They spent more than 122 billion dollars nationwide pursuing their recreational activities contributing to millions of jobs in industries and businesses that support wildlife associated recreation.

      South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley in particular prosper greatly from this wildlife driven economy.

      The recently completed Texas International Fishing Tournament that took place in Port Isabel and South Padre Island generates an estimated one and a half million dollars.

      The Lower Laguna Madre is one of the states prime fishing destinations and statewide anglers spend more than three billion dollars annually.

      Hunting is big business in Texas, and hunters spend more than two billion every year pursuing their game in the state.

      But the biggest chunk of money comes from ecotourism or wildlife watching with nearly three billion dollars spent statewide by bird watchers, butterfly enthusiasts and others.

      A recently released survey by Texas A&M University revealed an economic impact of 463 million dollars that is created by wildlife watchers in the Rio Grande Valley.

      While the dollars generated by hunting, fishing and wildlife watching is impressive|the intrinsic value of a pristine sunrise on South Padre Island or the fleeting beauty of a songbird bring incalculable joy and priceless soul satisfying serenity to all who pause to truly appreciate the wonders of nature.

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore