MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, chambers of commerce, small businesses and retailers held a press conference today to announce their participation in a new partnership called Hunting Works For Alabama.
Hunting Works For Alabama will educate the public on how hunting impacts Alabama's economy, monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Alabama jobs. The new partnership will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Alabama's hunting heritage positively affects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
"Hunting and shooting sports are huge drivers of our state economy, but I feel they don't get the credit they deserve," said Tim Wood, General Manager of Central Alabama Farmer's Cooperative and a co-chair of Hunting Works For Alabama. "Hunters spend millions of dollars annually, and much of that money goes to local business owners and entrepreneurs. In fact hunters spend a great deal of money at stores like Bass Pro and Cabela's but they also shop at locally-owned sporting goods stores, hardware stores, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and cafes all across Alabama."
According to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, 535,000 people hunt in Alabama each year. The new partnership wants to highlight the impact these hunters have in the state. For example, hunters in Alabama spend over $400 million on hunting trips and over $150 million on equipment. All told, hunters spend $913 million annually in the state of Alabama.
While the economic contributions of hunters are considerable, hunters' dollars also pay for conservation efforts. Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act, hunters pay an 11 percent excise tax on equipment sales that is used to conserve and restore habitat.
"Hunters are huge in the Black Belt region, and not just because they support businesses," said Pam Swanner, director for Alabama Black Belt Adventures and one of the co-chairs of Hunting Works For Alabama. "The money hunters spend to hunt, on their licenses, stamps, and the taxes they pay on equipment is all earmarked for conservation. More than most anyone else, hunters are the people paying to keep the outdoors wild and free for everyone else."
Hunting Works For Alabama and its partners will be active in the state, attending events and educating the public and elected officials on why hunting and the shooting sports are so important to Alabama's economy.
"Too many people just don't know how integral hunting and the shooting sports are to the economy," said Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway, and co-chair of Hunting Works For Alabama. "I was thrilled to join this partnership because I want to help tell this story, I want people to know that hunters are responsible for thousands of jobs and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat."
The newly formed Hunting Works For Alabama partnership has over 50 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
"We all benefit from a robust hunting heritage in Alabama," said David Dexter, principal at NAI Mobile and a co-chair of Hunting Works For Alabama. "Whether calling up a gobbler at sunrise or waiting for a clear shot on a nice buck at sunset, hunting is a great way to spend time with friends and family, and it turns out it's also a great way to support Alabama's businesses."
Hunting Works For Alabama
Hunting Works For Alabama is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities. Hunting Works For Alabama members are advocates for public policy who support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Alabama.
For more information on Hunting Works For Alabama, please visit www.HUNTINGWORKSFORAL.com
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SOURCE Hunting Works for Alabama