Michigan partnership to highlight hunting’s economic impact
By Rick Charmoli / Cadillac News
CADILLAC — Michigan hunters boost the state’s economy by billions each year, and now a grassroots partnership is looking to bring those numbers to the attention of Michigan residents.
Recently, local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, chambers of commerce, small businesses and retailers announced the formation of a new partnership called Hunting Works for Michigan. The group is focused on educating the public on how hunting impacts Michigan’s economy, monitoring public policy decisions and weighing in on hunting-related issues that impact Michigan jobs.
One of those leaders who made the announcement was Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Executive Director Joy VanDrie. She also is one of the five co-chairs of the new grassroots partnership.
“When the Hunting Works for Michigan organization came to the state, they approached the (state) chamber and DNR to get it going,” VanDrie said. “Then (the state chamber and DNR) gave them some direction and who to contact, and I was on the list.”
While there are organizations focused on various aspects of hunting, VanDrie said Hunting Works for Michigan is strictly looking at the economic benefit of hunting to the state. To illustrate its importance, she suggested imagining the impact to businesses such as restaurants and hotels/motels as well as retailers selling equipment such as clothing and real estate for hunting purposes if there was no hunting.
Hunting Works For Michigan partners are looking to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Michigan’s hunting heritage positively affects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, more than 528,000 people hunt in Michigan each year. Hunting Works For Michigan was formed to highlight the impact these hunters have in the state. For example, hunters in Michigan spend more than $270 million on hunting trips and over $1.3 billion on equipment. All told, hunters spend $2.3 billion annually in the state of Michigan.
“As the head of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, I have seen the varied and robust impact hunters have on our local economy, and I am excited about sharing that story with others in our state,” VanDrie said. “The money spent by hunters supports over 34,400 jobs and has a $3.9 billion ripple effect on Michigan’s economy, those are numbers that should be shared far and wide.”
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.
Hunting Works For Michigan and its partners plan to attend events and educate the public and elected officials on why hunting and the shooting sports are so important to Michigan’s economy.
“Hunting Works for Michigan is a resource for businesses that are supportive of hunting,” VanDrie said.
For more information about the partnership or to get involved log on to huntingworksformi.com.