Good afternoon –
Below is a press release that Iowa Rivers Revival issued today regarding support for $2 million for Iowa’s DNR River Programs. A recent study completed by Iowa State University and commissioned by the Nature Conservancy with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation shows outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to Iowa’s economy -- including over $500 million per year in spending related to recreation on Iowa’s rivers and streams. Study
IRR has also issued a letter to the Governor and all Iowa candidates urging support for the $2M and funding the “Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund” that was approved by a 63 percent majority of Iowa voters in 2010 to invest in Iowa’s water. Visit www.iowarivers.org for more information.
Your contacts to the Governor and local legislators and candidates are encouraged.
· Governor Terry Branstad: 515.281.5211 or http://www.governor.iowa.gov/contact/ Iowa
· Iowa legislators and candidates: http://www.iowarivers.org/Portals/0/...ate%20List.pdf
Iowa Rivers Revival
P.O. Box 72, Des Moines, Iowa 50301 515-724-4093 www.iowarivers.org
For immediate release: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Contact: Rosalyn Lehman, Executive Director, Iowa Rivers Revival --
Iowa Rivers Revival asks the State to Invest $2 Million in River Programs
I.R.R. cites new ISU study showing that river recreation in Iowa pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into Iowa communities and supports thousands of jobs.
Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa Rivers Revival is asking the Governor and lawmakers to invest $2 million next year for DNR river programs that create safer rivers and streams, cleaner waters, and more recreational activities and access to rivers.
The river-advocacy organization cited a new ISU economic study that shows outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to Iowa’s economy -- including over $500 million per year in spending related to recreation on Iowa’s rivers and streams. River-recreation spending alone supports almost 5,000 jobs in Iowa and $143 million of personal income, the study says. [Go to www.IowaRivers.org for the full study -- “Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation Activities in Iowa,” which was released Sept. 29.]
“River recreation is booming, and it’s boosting the economy of Iowa towns,” said Jerry Peckumn, Chair of Iowa Rivers Revival, an advocacy and education group that works for rivers. “The study supports our argument that even modest levels of state funding for rivers pays big dividends in terms of recreational spending and supporting the economy in Iowa,” Peckumn said.
“More and more people are using rivers and river corridors for floating, boating, fishing, walking, viewing wildlife, and other recreation,” Peckumn said. “All this recreational activity brings spending that strengthens Iowa’s economy. Public investment in rivers is money very well-spent.”
Peckumn said Iowa Rivers Revival sent letters and emails Thursday to the Governor and legislative candidates providing the ISU study and asking them to appropriate $2 million next year to the Iowa DNR for rivers. IRR supported a $1 million appropriation approved this year for DNR river programs, the Infrastructure Appropriation for River Restoration and Dam Mitigation. The funding support DNR efforts to expand river trails, improve water quality, remove unsafe dams, enhance wildlife habitat, enhance flood protection and prevent erosion, and increase economic vitality.
IRR also is encouraging the Governor and lawmakers to support funding the “Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund” that was approved by a 63 percent majority of Iowa voters in 2010, a constitutionally-protected trust fund that will be filled with a 3/8th of 1 percent sales tax the next time the sales tax is increased. IRR is supporting the Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bond on the Nov. 6 ballot.
More background and detail on the study:
The 2012 ISU study, by ISU economists Daniel Otto and Kristen Tylka, is called “The Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation Activities in Iowa.” It updates a 2007 study and examines the economic impact in Iowa of recreational spending generated by activities including fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, visiting state parks and local parks, and visiting Iowa lakes and rivers.
The study found that outdoor recreation activities in Iowa result in about $3 billion in spending per year, which helps support about 31,000 jobs and $717 million of personal income in the state.
For river recreation alone, the study estimates there was total direct recreational spending of $520 million in 2010 related to 73 different segments of Iowa rivers and streams. (Total estimated river-related spending is the product of estimated river-usage visits multiplied by estimated spending per trip.) The study said almost 5,000 jobs are supported with $143 million of personal income earned from spending associated with river recreation.
The study was conducted under several ISU departments: the Dept. of Economics, ISU Extension and Outreach, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The study was commissioned by the Legislature’s Committee on Sustainable Funding for Natural Resources.
The study noted outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to the U.S. economy as well, resulting in expenditures of $145 billion per year by nearly 37.4 million Americans ($2,407/person in 2011).
The ISU study also emphasized that investing in outdoor recreation also benefits public health by increasing physical activity by more and more Iowans.