Strength in numbers: TRCP unites sportsmen-conservationists at SHOT Show forum

Sportsmen and industry professionals travel from across the country – and, in many cases, from around the world – to attend the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, or SHOT Show, every year. The show, which took place Jan. 14-17, is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for the shooting, hunting and related industries.

Attendees cite a wide range of reasons for coming to SHOT, and, with attendance at this year’s show topping a record-breaking 67,000, you’d be hard pressed to generalize about why so many consider it a can’t-miss event.

But one explanation resonates throughout the show’s 635,000 square feet of exhibition space and among the more than 1,600 exhibitors: economics.

The hunting and shooting industries have never been stronger in America. Data released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which owns and manages SHOT, shows that spending by hunters and shooters had a total impact of more than $110 billion on the U.S. economy in 2011. This supports more than 866,000 jobs.

These numbers won’t surprise many in the sportsmen’s community, including the TRCP and our partner groups, who have been responding to legislative attacks on programs important to hunters and anglers, fish and wildlife, and conservation in America by citing data that illustrates the economic value of hunting, fishing and other forms of outdoor recreation.

Hunting and fishing directly contribute more than $86 billion to the U.S. economy each year and support approximately 1.5 million non-exportable jobs. Sportsmen also are integral to the broader outdoor-recreation and conservation economy, which is responsible for $646 billion in direct consumer spending annually.

There is strength in numbers. Whether those numbers are impressive economic figures or the growing number of sportsmen raising our voices on Capitol Hill, the TRCP is channeling them to promote the outdoor traditions, sporting heritage and vast economic impact of sportsmen by bringing all the stakeholders in our community “to the table” to speak together in a unified voice.

To this end, at the 2014 SHOT Show the TRCP convened our third annual “Sportsmen’s Conservation Forum,” a meeting of some of the greatest minds in conservation, including CEOs, policy experts and influential members of the media, to discuss federal policy impacting sportsmen and the top-line priorities for our community in 2014. More than 40 sportsman leaders – among them U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Howard Vincent of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, Miles Moretti of the Mule Deer Foundation, “MeatEater” host Steven Rinella and Field & Stream Editor in Chief Anthony Licata – had a wide-ranging dialogue that touched on the federal budget and sportsmen’s values, the next farm bill, public hunting access (and obstacles to access) and the prospects for passage of comprehensive sportsmen’s legislation in 2014.

While the participants are committed hunters and shooters, all of them also have a stake in responsive policy that supports these outdoor traditions. And while the prospects for sportsman-focused policy and legislation in 2014 remain unclear, our community remains unwavering in our commitment to stand strong, present a united front, and show the strength both of our combined numbers and the economic influence of sportsmen – at events like the SHOT Show and elsewhere in the crucially important time to come.

Learn more about the TRCP’s work to promote strongly funded conservation programs and legislative measures important to sportsmen.

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Katie McKalip

Katie McKalip

Katie McKalip joined the TRCP in 2007. As media relations director, she focuses on developing the TRCP's public positions on natural resource issues and in building media awareness of the TRCP's policy initiatives. Previously, McKalip was publications editor for the Outdoor Writers Association of America; she currently serves on the OWAA board of directors. The daughter of an Army officer, she grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and received her bachelor’s degree from The College of William & Mary. Later, she was irresistibly drawn to the Rocky Mountain West and settled in Missoula, Mont., where she attained an M.S. from The University of Montana’s environmental studies program. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities that vary according to season and include big-game and upland bird hunting in the fall, skiing in the winter and hiking in the spring. In the summer, look for her on the river.

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  3. Sportsmen to Congress: ‘Our Jobs Count, Too’
  4. Sportsmen Should Be Optimistic in 2014
  5. Early Season Dove Hunting in North Dakota

One comment on “Strength in numbers: TRCP unites sportsmen-conservationists at SHOT Show forum

  1. Russ Cohen on said:

    On a related topic: Earlier this month, the Forbes Magazine web site published a story on the emerging Restoration Economy in the U.S. and around the globe: “Now THIS Is What We Call Green Jobs: The Restoration Industry ‘Restores’ The Environment And The Economy”. Here’s the link to it:

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