For most people, the phrase “green jobs” conjures images of windmills and solar panels. But those aren’t the only jobs that bolster our economy and protect our environment at the same time. In fact, green jobs can range from removing unwanted forest roads or repairing fish culverts, to treating invasive species and restoring wetlands. And some “green” occupations may surprise you.
What?! You better believe it – according to a National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 87.5 million Americans fished, hunted or watched wildlife in 2006. Even more impressive, those people poured more than $122 BILLION into those activities, funding millions of jobs in industries and businesses that support wildlife-related recreation.
Building wildlife crossings, building economies
Tomorrow, Defenders’ Trisha White joins a panel discussion at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference to talk about how transportation projects can protect wildlife and natural places while also contributing to local economies. For example, the construction of a wildlife underpass saves much more than the moose (or elk, or deer) that uses it to cross a busy road. It saves people – 200 of which are killed in wildlife-vehicle collisions each year – and money – an average of $28,100 per moose. And it creates jobs right here in America, that can never be sent overseas.
If wildlife watching were a Fortune 500 company,
it would rank in the top 25.
Working to maintain and restore healthy ecosystems is good for our wildlife, natural places, communities and economies. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to work!