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Letter to the Editor: GOAZ a boost for outdoor recreation in Arizona

Letter to the Editor: GOAZ a boost for outdoor recreation in Arizona

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Trout Unlimited (TU) has partnered with the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) to create the Get Outdoors Arizona business coalition (GOAZ). In Arizona, outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine contributing 201,000 jobs, $5.7 billion in wages, $21.2 billion in consumer spending and $1.4 billion in local and state tax revenue. These statistics ensure businesses and communities across Arizona thrive with outdoor recreation providing good jobs that are sustainable in perpetuity.

GOAZ is a coalition of 65+ businesses and organizations across Arizona that recognizes the important linkage between strong conservation policies and vibrant economic opportunities. The business voice holds a lot of weight with our elected officials, but we also know that businesses don’t often have time to get to know the issues and figure out who to talk to about it. Hence GOAZ was created — TU and AWF created the framework for the advocacy and businesses can sign on as they are able and interested.

One goal of GOAZ is connecting local businesses to nonpartisan, science-based information on conservation issues affecting Arizona and its public lands, offering opportunities to engage business owners on state and federal legislative issues vital to the health and sustainability of wildlife and public lands.

The importance of public lands has been recognized more than ever this year, giving individuals an opportunity to escape and find respite in nature. Arizona boasts many opportunities for outdoor recreation, from various forms of hunting and fishing to mountain biking, rafting, bird watching, you name it! Leading up to this point the general sentiment from Arizona’s legislature around outdoor recreation tourism and public lands as a driver has been taken for granted. Now with the GOAZ we’re starting to build real momentum. Outdoor recreation is the future of our state and we need to start recognizing the importance of protecting and investing in this resource.

ROBERT REES

Flagstaff

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