Albany Quail Hunting Lands Create Jobs & Support Local Businesses

A post card from Radium Springs in 1947 proclaimed: “Albany, the world’s greatest paper shell pecan center, is also the bird dog capital of the world, and the mecca for sportsmen in this field.” While much has changed since 1947, the Albany region, along with the Red Hills, continues to be a destination for quail hunters. That said, it wasn’t until Tall Timbers completed the first economic impact analysis of the region’s quail lands in 2014 that we fully understood the extent of the economic impact and job creation associated with the region’s quail lands. Late in 2019, in conjunction with the Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, Tall Timbers surveyed the owners of 295,000 acres of high-quality quail lands to gather data for the second economic impact analysis of Albany region quail properties.

The 2019 analysis revealed that the total economic impact of Albany region quail hunting properties in 2019 was over $145 million. This is a 16% increase compared to the results from our earlier study. Albany region quail lands create or support over 1,160 direct and indirect jobs (a 32% percent increase over the 2014 study) and generate $56 million in labor income. Importantly, owners and managers of these hunting lands shop locally for many of their needs. As an example, they collectively operate nearly 300 tractors and other pieces of heavy machinery and 300 work trucks and ATVs, most of which are locally purchased, leased and serviced.

While Dougherty County received the largest share of the economic pie, with over $73 million in local economic impact and 459 direct and indirect jobs, significant benefits were spread across a dozen other rural counties, including those shown below.

 

 

County

 

Local Economic Impact of Albany Region Quail Lands

 

Total Labor Income from Albany Region Quail Lands

Direct and Indirect Employment from Albany Region Quail Lands
Dougherty$73.7 million$29.1 million459
Baker$16.8 million$8.4 million139
Lee$8.8 million$3.8 million85
Decatur$7.0 million$2.8 million58
Worth$5.8 million$1.6 million109
Other Counties$33.4 million$11.1 million314
Total$145.5 million$56.8 million1,164

 

Clay Sisson, the Albany Quail Project Director for Tall Timbers, explained: “The benefit these properties provide by protecting our natural resources, traditional rural land uses, and overall quality of life in the region has long been recognized. These survey numbers reveal just how important they are to the area economically as well; something all of us that live here benefit from.”

Albany region quail hunting lands are truly a vital asset to the regional and local economies. At the same time, these properties provide bountiful supplies of drinking water, protect the quality of our water supply, and provide habitat for many imperiled wildlife species. Tall Timbers believes that working collaboratively with landowners, policy makers, and the business community is essential to sustain the vital economic and ecological benefits of Albany region quail lands for generations to come.

Please view the full study at https://talltimbers.org/land-conservation-planning-resources/.

For additional information, contact Clay Sisson.

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