Outfitter dollars generate major conservation funding
Hunters and anglers are often considered the building blocks of major conservation projects and funding. Yet, few realize that outfitters are behind a majority of the trips or tags auctioned off to support conservation efforts. A pilot study completed by the Professional Outfitters and Guides of America (POGA) discovered that an estimated $25.6 million was donated in 2016 by outfitters from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Maine and Alaska. Monies were donated in the form of trips or tags that were auctioned off to benefit conservation organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Safari Club International (SCI), the Wild Sheep Foundation and 41 other groups.
POGA is comprised of over 1,900 outfitters, representing more than 4,000 outfitter businesses within the eight states listed above that make up the organization. The study found that the majority of money donated to conservation groups came from Alaska (30%), Colorado (20%) and Montana (18%) with statewide donations ranging from $7.6 million in Alaska to $1.2 million in Maine. Of the many conservation organizations across the U.S., RMEF and SCI secured more donations than the others, with RMEF accounting for 42.5% and SCI for 35.6%, respectively.
While it’s not surprising that outfitters account for such a large percentage of conservation funding, the study hopes to shed light on this important aspect to others within the outdoor industry. POGA hopes the study will gain recognition for outfitters and their role in conservation efforts.
The complete study can be found here.