Environmental Conservation Is Costly, But Economic Benefits Are Great

A new report has sought to quantify the annual costs of America's assorted environmental protection efforts for the first time.

"The public and private tab for conserving the nation’s fish, wildlife and natural resources is close to $40 billion a year, according to a study released this week," reports Julie Cart. "The analysis, commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, considered the jobs, tax revenue and other economic effects from federal state and private investment in conservation."

According to the study, "The Conservation Economy in America: Direct investments and economic contributions" [PDF], "[t]he federal government is the leading source of conservation investments, accounting for approximately 60 percent of all spending. State and local governments accounted for 29 percent of spending and the private sector provided eleven percent."

As the study indicates, although the costs are significant, so are the benfits. "The total -- $38.8 billion — stimulates as much as $93.2 billion in economic activity, the study found."

Full Story: What do we spend to preserve nature? $40 billion

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