Hunters and Anglers

Providing clean water, conserving habitat, and recovering fish and wildlife all depend on contributions from hunters and anglers. The world’s hunting and recreational fishing economy is worth $170 billion — more than the global markets for coffee, bicycles, and ice cream. It provides critical incentives and significant funding for conservation projects that benefit everyone who depends on a healthy environment.

In Montana, anglers have worked with landowners to restore clean, free-flowing streams. In South Africa, hunters have helped spur a thousandfold increase in the southern white rhino population. And in Colorado, fees generated by hunting have been a key driver in conserving wildlife habitat on private lands.

PERC recognizes that hunting and fishing are critical components of conservation programs that provide economic incentives to enhance environmental quality. By turning water, wildlife, and wildlands into assets instead of liabilities for landowners and communities, hunters and anglers are key players in addressing the world’s environmental challenges.

Our current work focuses on the role of landowners in sustaining healthy big-game migrations, rethinking the North American Wildlife Model of Conservation to address the challenges of the 21st century, and expanding the “user-pays” model used by hunters and anglers to support other forms of outdoor recreation.

PERC supports policies that expand opportunities for hunters and anglers to contribute to environmental protection. Reforming state and federal laws to allow sportsmen to purchase water rights to keep water instream for fish and wildlife is one way. Others include lifting bans on trophy hunting imports and increasing the flexibility of conservation easements to adapt to a changing environment. These are the kind of ideas that will help deliver conservation results in the 21st century.