Watch Those Birdwatchers

Birdwatching in the U.S. is now a US$52-billion industry with over 50-million participants…

The real environmental movement should not be mistaken for just its radical element who can usually be found hanging from trees in contentious watersheds. Birdwatching in the U.S. is now a US$52-billion industry with over 50-million participants; more than hunting and angling combined, according to the New York Times. This group is just now beginning to recognize its potential strength and is organizing to lobby Washington on environmental issues. Habitat protection, and, I would presume, making life difficult for domestic cats across the continent are likely to be preoccupations of this group.

Nevertheless, from a resource management perspective fifty-million perhaps eccentric birdwatchers should be taken seriously. Not just for their numbers and demographics but because of the significant and deeply rooted cultural shift in attitude they represent and its likely impact on market preferences for wood products. Any campaign to promote B.C. forest practices will have recognize the sensibilities and sophistication of a group like this (and others) if it is to be convincing.

Source: New York Times

See Also: Heather Myers’s presentation: WSCA conference 2001