By Bill Hermant
When outsiders think of Nevada, it is hard to imagine anything between the bright lights of the Vegas Strip and downtown Reno.
However, anyone that has lived here for more than a week knows that gaming is just one aspect of the Silver State’s lifestyle. Nevadans pride ourselves on being wild and free.
Whether you are touring Lake Tahoe on your new Indian motorcycle, hunting in Elko county, or fishing on Pyramid Lake the Nevada landscape has something to offer everyone. The Nevada outdoor recreation industry is a cornerstone of our state’s economy and lifestyle.
According to the United States Bureau of Land Management, Nevada has 48 million acres of public land, almost 70% of all land in the entire state. With all that public land it is no surprise that Nevadans are putting it to good use.
The Outdoor Industry Association states that 57% of Nevada residents participate in outdoor sports and activities. A 2011 United States Census study shows that the roughly two hundred thousand Nevada residents and visitors that hunt and fish spend a combined total of over two million days a year trekking through the Silver State. Additionally, more than half a million Nevadans get outside to watch wildlife each year.
The impact outdoor recreation has on the Nevada economy is enormous. Again, research done by the Outdoor Industry Association shows that 87,000 Nevadans are employed in the outdoor recreation economy.
For perspective, the mining industry, another Silver State pillar, employs roughly a third of those numbers in the state. Those 87,000 Nevadans earn more than $4 billion in wages and salaries from their labor and there are $12.6 billion in expenditures as a result of our love of the great outdoors.
Finally, in a state that brags no state income tax, the outdoor recreation economy contributes over a billion dollars in taxes that fund our schools, roads and public safety officials.
Outdoor recreation is a crucial component of Nevada’s past, present, and future. Whether you enjoy hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, riding your side by side on sand dunes, or just watching the birds sing, Nevada has something for every outdoor enthusiast.
Our state is growing and one reason it is because Nevada’s backyard offers a quality of life no state can compete with. Even the refrain of our state song, written in 1932, goes, “Home means Nevada, home means the hills, home means the sage and the pine.” Let’s keep Nevada, our home, an oasis of outdoor recreation fun.
Bill Hermant is the owner of Reno Cycles & Gear, Northern Nevada’s largest Polaris Dealership Specializing in RZRs, Rangers, ATVs, and Slingshots
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