The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service soon will conduct the 12th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts across the nation will be asked to participate in interviewing set to begin April 1.
The survey, which has been conducted every five years since 1955, will involve 53,000 households.
"We appreciate the anglers, hunters, birdwatchers and other citizens throughout the United States who voluntarily participate in the survey when contacted," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting director Rowan Gould said.
"The survey results help wildlife and natural resource managers quantify how much Americans value wildlife resources in terms of both participation and expenditures."
The survey is funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program authorized by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000.
The survey provides the only comprehensive statistical database available on participation and expenditures for hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching in all 50 states.
The information is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, primarily through telephone interviews to be conducted April to June and September to October in 2011, and January to March in 2012.
Those contacted will be asked about their participation and expenditures in several categories of wildlife-associated recreation. The results will be available in a national report and in 50 individual state reports.
"The last survey published in 2006 revealed 87.5 million Americans enjoyed some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent more than $122.3 billion pursuing their activities," said Hannibal Bolton, assistant director for the service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program.
"The survey is a critical information resource for federal and state wildlife agencies, outdoor and tourist industries, local governments, planners, conservation groups, journalists and others interested in wildlife and outdoor recreation," he said.
Participation is voluntary and all responses are strictly confidential. Data collected are used for statistical purposes only and no participant can be identified from information contained in the database and follow-up reports.
Representative samples will be based on the initial contacts and include 19,000 anglers and hunters and 10,000 wildlife watchers (wildlife photographers, feeders and observers).
Preliminary survey findings will be available in the spring of 2012. Final reports will be issued beginning in the fall of 2012.
The reports, when completed, will be posted at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov.