fishing the Pere Marquette River (photo by jhy)
a news release of the USDA National Forests
Recreational activities on national forests and grasslands continue to make large economic impacts on America's rural communities, contributing $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
According to the National Visitor Use Monitoring report released tin August 2011 by Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, national forests attracted 170.8 million recreational visitors and sustained approximately 223,000 jobs in rural communities this past year.
"This data shows once again just what a boon our forests are to local economies," said Tidwell. "Because of forest activities, thousands of jobs are supported in hundreds of rural communities. We are proud of helping to put a paycheck into the pockets of so many hardworking Americans."
National forests also provide economic relief for vacationers. Fewer than half of the U.S. Forest Service's 17,000 developed sites charge any fees for visitors. The report reveals that 94 percent of visitors were satisfied with their experience on the national forests.
"Our national forests are some of the most beautiful and adventure-filled places in the world," said Tidwell. "The national forests give Americans a chance to build life-long memories for the price of food and gas. You'd be hard pressed to find any vacation destinations that offer better value."
Western Michigan is the location of the Manistee unit of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
See National Forest Service
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