Quail hunting brings economic gain and jobs to the Greater Albany Region
In 2014, Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy and our project partner, the Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA) at Florida State University, began working on an important project. The goal was to determine the economic impact associated with the quail hunting properties in the Greater Albany Region.
Why undertake this project? Tall Timbers feels it is critical for elected and appointed leaders and the general public to understand the vital role these hunting properties play in our local and regional economy and in protecting the natural resources we all depend on.
The results of the study are based on our survey of more than 70 Greater Albany area hunting properties ranging in size from 500 to over 28,000 acres. We received responses from more than 55 percent of the landowners and managers surveyed, which is an excellent return rate. Survey respondents reported owning more than 66 percent—over 203,000 acres—of the land in our survey area.
CEFA’s analysis found that in 2013, the economic impact of Greater Albany Region hunting properties was nearly $125 million (reported in 2014 $). This tremendous economic impact is the result of a wide range of operating, capital improvement, and discretionary spending as well as local charitable contributions. In addition, nearly 900 local jobs are directly or indirectly related to Albany Region hunting properties. These jobs generate more than $38 million in employment income and pay wages higher than average for this area. The publication that is based on this study also goes into some detail about the economic and employment impacts for individual Albany Region counties including Baker, Calhoun, Dougherty, Lee and Worth.
This study conclusively demonstrates that the quail hunting lands of Southwest Georgia create and support many good paying jobs and significant economic growth while also providing clean and abundant drinking water, fresh air, and habitat for many imperiled species. The results of the study are contained in a publication titled The Economic Impact of the Quail Hunting Lands of Georgia’s Greater Albany Region. (Click here for a PDF file of this publication.)
Please contact Tall Timbers Land Conservancy Planning Coordinator Neil Fleckenstein at 850-893-4153, ext. 335 or Neil@ttrs.org if you have any questions about this project.
B. F Hodges and John Albritton at Bennett’s Feed & Seed, in business for over 70 years.
Tall Timbers eJournal published
We welcome you to view the inaugural issue of the eJournal, Tall Timbers’ biannual magazine. This digital magazine format will allow staff, associates and guest contributors to write longer, more in-depth features on a variety of topics that we hope will be of interest to you.
This first issue of the Tall Timbers eJournal has been sent to all of our Tall Timbers eNews subscribers, but future issues will only be sent to Tall Timbers members at the Associate level and above as a benefit of their membership. Associate membership is only $35 per year and also includes a subscription to the Firebird e-newsletter, a new publication from the Stoddard Bird Lab.
We hope you enjoy the new Tall Timbers eJournal, and if you are not a member will consider joining, because annual membership has its benefits and supports the day-to-day operations of the organization.
147 million additional reasons to love the Red Hills!
One year ago, Tall Timbers reached out to many local land owners asking their help with an ambitious project — the first ever comprehensive economic impact analysis of working rural lands in the Red Hills Region. Tall Timbers, along with our project partner the Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA) at Florida State University, undertook this initiative because despite the Red Hills playing a vital role protecting our drinking water, clean air, and wildlife habitat, the messages that truly resonate with many officials and others who make decisions that directly affect the Red Hills region are “jobs” and “economic impact.”
The most important part of this study was our survey of the owners of 110 Red Hills’ hunting properties and other working rural lands, each over 500 acres. We received detailed responses from more than 66 percent of the owners surveyed, which is a fantastic response rate. Survey respondents reported owning well over 300,000 acres in the Red Hills. A huge “Thanks” to the many landowners who helped us with this project!
CEFA’s economic analysis found that in 2012, the regional economic impact of Red Hills’ hunting properties exceeded $147 million. This tremendous impact is the result of a wide range of operating, capital improvement, and discretionary spending as well as local charitable contributions that benefit every Red Hills’ community. In addition, over 1,400 jobs are directly or indirectly related to Red Hills’ hunting properties. These 1,400 jobs generated more than $51 million in total employment income meaning they paid more than the average wage in nearly every Red Hills’ county.
One unique aspect of this project is a county-specific focus on the economic and employment impacts for individual Red Hills’ counties. This provided unique insights into the importance of working rural lands are for small and medium sized businesses throughout the Region.
The results of the study are contained in a publication titled The Economic Impact of the Red Hills Region of Southwest Georgia and North Florida (click here for a PDF file of this publication). This study will play an important role in Tall Timbers’ efforts to educate elected officials, other community leaders, landowners, and the general public about the tremendous economic impact and job creation generated by Red Hills’ hunting lands and other working properties.
As an aside, we will soon undertake a similar project for the hunting lands in the greater Albany, Georgia area and look forward to working with landowners in those communities.
Please contact Red Hills Planning Coordinator Neil Fleckenstein at 850-893-4153, ext. 335 or Neil@ttrs.org if you have any questions about this important project.
A History of Tall Timbers PublishedThe Legacy of a Red Hills Hunting Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy by Robert L. Crawford and William R. Brueckheimer traces the evolution of Tall Timbers benefactor Henry Beadel from sportsman and naturalist to conservationist. Complemented by a wealth of previously unpublished, rare vintage photographs, it follows the transformation of the plantation into what its founders envisioned — a long-term research station, independent of government or academic funding and control. The book can be ordered from Tall Timbers.
Valuing Ecosystem Services in the Red Hills Region of Southwest Georgia and North Florida Ecosystem services are the things that nature provides that directly benefit people. These services include water purification, drinking water recharge, climate regulation and many others. The University of Georgia study on which this publication was based estimates the economic value of critical natural services provided to the public by Red Hills forests exceeds $1.1 billion annually. This publication identifies limited sources of payments for ecosystem services and strongly recommends that local, state and federal governments take vital ecosystem services into account when considering proposals that could adversely affect the forests and other natural systems that provide these services.To view the publication, click here.
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