KALISPELL, Mont. — A new report by the Outdoor Industry Association shows that the state’s outdoor recreation has become one of its the top economic sectors.

The Flathead Beacon reports (http://bit.ly/2vlBB02 ) Montana’s outdoor economy’s earnings only fall behind real estate and the government.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, consumers spend $7.1 billion on recreational activities such as camping, fishing, skiing, boating and biking. That money not only flows into the state’s economy but also provides $2.2 billion in wages and salaries for 71,000 jobs, and $286 million in state and local taxes.

Conservation advocates say the findings in the report show the importance of maintaining the state’s public lands and Congress funding land management services such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.


Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com