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Outdoor Recreation Drives Significant Economic Impact in Northern MN According to Regional Study

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Outdoor Recreation Drives Significant Economic Impact in Northern Minnesota According to Regional Study

First study of its kind finds Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness visitors spent $57 million, created nearly 1,000 jobs in 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 8, 2017) – The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the U.S., with nearly 150,000 visitors annually. The economic impact BWCAW visitors have on the neighboring communities has never been scientifically studied, and the last impact analysis of a U.S. Wilderness area was two decades ago. Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (FBWW), in partnership with Dr. Evan Hjerpe of Conservation Economics Institute and Quetico-Superior Foundation, today announced the findings of the first-ever regional economic impact study on the BWCAW. The study, conducted during the 2016 summer tourism season, found that out-of-region visitors spent $57 million in the three surrounding counties: Cook, Lake and St. Louis. This spending led to the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs and overall economic output of $77 million in one summer season.

“We’ve always believed that Boundary Waters visitor spending creates sustainable economic opportunities and jobs in the surrounding communities,” stated Paul Danicic, executive director, FBWW. “The study scientifically validates that the BWCAW is critical to the economic health of Northeastern Minnesota and will continue to have a significant impact for years to come.”

Study Reveals Sustainable Economic Development in Neighboring Communities
Visitor spending in BWCAW neighboring communities extends far beyond expenditures. The total economic output of $77 million generated approximately $14.4 million in local, state and federal taxes. These taxes funnel directly back into these counties for community needs such as road improvement and emergency services.

Another key finding of the study was the impact on jobs in the local communities. Nearly 1,000 full and part time jobs are created through outdoor recreation and nature tourism. These positions span 127 regional industries and provide more than $25 million in income. Some of the industries affected most by visitors are in hospitality, retail and government; employment opportunities that are considered stable and sustainable over time due to the low-impact they have on the BWCAW ecosystem.

“The BWCAW is a unique Wilderness ecosystem that attracts thousands of outdoor recreationists and brings substantial money into rural economies,” said Dr. Hjerpe. “This study illustrates that Wilderness visitation can be an essential component of regional economic development, one that preserves the very resource that provides for sustainable streams of income in the region.”

The study was conducted with specific parameters to draw precise conclusions on the exact impact out-of-region visitors have on the rural, neighboring communities. Findings were extrapolated from data collected from May to September 2016 and does not include economic impacts from winter visitors, spending from residents or market impacts related to BWCAW art sales, amenity migration effects or property value.

The full study is available for download at bit.ly/BWCAcreatesjobs.

Media Contact
Tiffany Jackson
651.789.2248
tjackson@beehivepr.biz

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is celebrating 40 years of protecting, preserving and restoring the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Quetico-Superior ecosystem.

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We’re Hiring!

Join our dedicated team of staff members!

Advocacy Director

The Advocacy Director provides overall leadership for and management of the advocacy strategy of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. The Advocacy Director is responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of plans and strategies to advance the mission of the Friends primarily through public advocacy and ecosystem preservation initiatives.

Read the full position description here.

 

Communications Director

The Communications Director manages the communications strategy and activities of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. The Communications Director communicates with supporters, partner organizations, media staff, and the public via numerous channels. They often represent the organization publicly, and supports the rest of the staff in doing so. This position utilizes project management skills to build a coalition of communications and network leaders within peer and partner organizations to maximize our impact and move other leaders of conservation forward.

Read the full position description here.

 

TO APPLY
Submit cover letter, resume, writing sample, and references (preferably electronically and in one document) to:

Paul Danicic
Executive Director
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
401 North Third Street, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401

info@friends-bwca.org  |  (612) 332-9624 Fax

Applications will be accepted until February 25.

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Send Us Your Wilderness Love Stories

2017 BWCA Love Stories GraphicBWCA Wilderness Love Stories
January 30 – February 12, 2017

It’s that time of year again! The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is collecting your most romantic stories from our wild northern paradise. Did your eyes lock as you passed in your canoes? Did you know he or she was the one that first night around the campfire, laughing and toasting marshmallows? Did you honeymoon in the Boundary Waters? Submit your love story to info@friends-bwca.org by February 12 for selected publication in our blog and the chance to win a $75 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant.

 

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Speak now for the BWCA!

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