If you asked us, we’d say our national wildlife refuge system is priceless. But if you want to crunch numbers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that nearly 35 million people visited refuges in 2006, generating almost $1.7 billion. The report, “Banking on Nature,” also revealed that 27,000 private-sector refuge jobs produced $543 million in employment income. There are 548 wildlife refuges in the United States, each with their own unique and unforgettable attributes, over a total of 97 million scenic acres. To find one near you, along with information on each park’s attractions, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System.
Photo by Fotolia/marthamarks