What do we spend to preserve nature? $40 billion

Visitors in the Yosemite Valley.
Visitors to Yosemite National Park are part of the $40-billion conservation economy, according to a new study.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Some say that you can’t put a price on precious natural resources. As of this week, you can.

The public and private tab for conserving the nation’s fish, wildlife and natural resources is close to $40 billion a year, according to a study released this week.

The analysis, commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, considered the jobs, tax revenue and other economic effects from federal state and private investment in conservation.

The total -- $38.8 billion — stimulates as much as $93.2 billion in economic activity, the study found.


A coalition of more than 1,200 conservation groups extrapolated the numbers from the new study and came up with another set of economic indicators.

According to the group, America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation, the economic impact from resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation in the United States is $1.7 trillion a year, which produces $211 billion in tax revenue and 12.8 million jobs.


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