Washington National Forests receive over 6.3 million visits each year, according to a recent report by the USDA Forest Service. Visitors spend approximately $290 million annually in communities near national forests. This spending supports over 2,100 year-long jobs in Washington, many in rural communities, and approximately $81 million in labor income for businesses and employees. National forests benefit communities across the Pacific Northwest in countless ways, from economic benefits, recreation opportunities, clean drinking water, habitat for fish and wildlife, and much more.
In the Pacific Northwest, hiking/walking (25% of visits), downhill skiing/snowboarding (16% of visits) and viewing natural features (14% of visits) are the most common recreation activities. About half of these visits come from those who live within 60 miles of the forest boundary. Visitors from outside the local area spend between three and five nights away from home engaging in recreation activities and spending money in the area where they are staying.
The 70-plus page report can be read at www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr961.pdf. //