Frye: Hunting may get its economic due
By Bob Frye
Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013, 11:36 p.m.
We've heard for years that hunting is big business in Pennsylvania. Big, but largely under the radar and largely underappreciated.
Maybe no more.
A partnership of sportsmen's groups, tourism officials and businesses has launched a grassroots campaign meant to make people aware of the role hunting plays in supporting local economies and jobs. “Hunting Works for Pennsylvania” will be modeled after similar efforts underway in five other states.
The campaign will “talk about and educate folks on the economic benefits that hunters provide,” said Vern Ross, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and co-chairman of the Hunting Works initiative.
Nearly one million people hunt in Pennsylvania each year, spending $986 million, according to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. That translates to $121 million in state and local taxes, 15,000 jobs, and a $1.6 billion ripple effect on the state economy, the group said.
One of the 60 groups affiliated with the program is the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism. Its executive director, Rob Fulton, said his group wants to “welcome and embrace every aspect of our travel and tourism industry,” including hunters.
That would be a change of sorts.
Locally, for example, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau markets outdoor recreation opportunities. That's included touting state parks and forests where hunting occurs, but never specifically hunting itself, said executive director Ron Virag.
This campaign might change that. Virag said the bureau is putting together its marketing “gameplan” for 2013-14 and may take a closer look at hunters and hunting.
“It's a niche market. But anything that brings people into the Laurel Highlands region is important to us,” he said.
On another note
The Game Commission board may soon have a new member, and in record time.
Gov. Tom Corbett has nominated funeral director Tim Layton of Windber to fill the District 4 seat currently held by Dave Schreffler of Everett.
District 4 takes in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties.
Schreffler's term ends today. Board members can continue to serve for six months beyond their final day, however, or until a replacement is named.
Typically, it takes months for the governor's sportsmen's advisory council to interview board candidates, selections to be forwarded to the governor, a nominee to be named and the state Senate to confirm the appointment.
In this case, all of that — short of Senate confirmation, which is pending — happened in about two weeks.
Sportsmen's message boards have been abuzz as a result, with some wondering why things were different this time and whether it's indicative of a specific agenda on someone's part, political favoritism or something else.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Delmont man’s next challenge is to compete in swim in chilly Finland river
- Frye: Many challenges for deer hunting
- Outdoors notices: March 8
- Kids turning attention to archery in record numbers
- Big trout key to Yough River stocking effort
- Outdoors notices: March 9
- Changes to deer harvest reporting possible in Pennsylvania
- Frye: Questions remain for Allegheny River walleye