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«Recreation Plan Recreation Grants Branch State Parks Division 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 © 2012 TPWD. PWD ...»

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Table 5.2 shows the top 10 outdoor recreation activities participated in by Hispanics and White/Non-Hispanics in Texas.

Hispanics report participating more frequently than White/Non-Hispanics in five out of the ten outdoor recreation categories.

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A second recommendation from the qualitative research was to explore more bilingual signage, advertising, and other park resources. Most bilingual Hispanic park visitors are able to speak Spanish and English, but many report varying degrees of comfort speaking English, and others feel even less fluent when reading English. Recent examples from TPWD include a bilingual “Discovery Center” at Guadalupe River State Park near San Antonio, new bilingual trail signage in Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, and the first-ever publication of the Texas State Park Guide in Spanish thanks to third-party sponsorship.

Several operational recommendations from the Hispanic focus groups study are also being considered for further exploration. These include further engagement among park visitors (of all ethnicities) regarding stewardship, continued emphasis on family-oriented outdoor activities in parks, and utilization of bilingual staff where possible.

In addition to operational ideas, the research recommendations also included new communication and program-centered ideas, such as increasing awareness of “Free Fishing in State Parks” programs and Texas Outdoor Family workshops and greater cross-promotion of parks located near one another and near large metropolitan areas.

In several instances the two studies were mutually reinforcing. For example, the NSRE survey found that Hispanic park visitors in Texas place much higher importance than Non-Hispanics on using outdoor space for family gatherings. Similarly, the qualitative focus groups revealed that many Hispanic state park visitors felt the current 8-personper campsite rule was culturally restrictive in that many preferred to visit and spend the night with larger groups, to be able to include more extended family members. As a result of these findings and recommendations, the agency is exploring ways to create future campsite areas that can accommodate larger groups, as well as further

Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand

identification and marketing of its current state park areas that are already able to accommodate larger groups.

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o Participation in outdoor recreation typically declines with age.

• Participation in some form of outdoor recreation ranged from a high of 62% for children ages 6 to 12 to a low of 39% for adults 45 and older.

Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan o There is an overall downward decline in outdoor recreation participation among youth, ages 6 to 12 year olds.

• 62% of youth ages 6 to 12 participated in some form of outdoor recreation in 2009 compared to 64% in 2008 and 78% in 2006.

• This decline among 6 to 12 year olds is due largely to decreased participation rates among boys, while participation among girls in the same age remained nearly flat.

• Although participation in outdoor activities is higher among youth than any other age group, decreases among youth could mean shrinking numbers of outdoor enthusiasts for future generations. Most outdoor participants are introduced to the outdoors between ages 5 and 18.

o Participation in outdoor recreation among Hispanic and African American youth is lower than Caucasian youth.

• 67% of Caucasian youth ages 6 to 12 participated in some form of outdoor recreation in 2009; while only 50% of Hispanic and only 39% of African American youth in the same age range participated. These trends mirror older age groups as well.

o Lack of time is the number one reason why youth do not participate in outdoor activities more often.

• Among all youth ages 6 to 17, a lack of time is followed closely by a lack of interest and the impact of schoolwork.

• Among youth of varying ethnicities (African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic) schoolwork is the number one reason cited why youth do not participate more in outdoor activities. Asians/Pacific Islanders cite too much schoolwork significantly more than other ethnicities.

• For Caucasians, schoolwork is the second most cited reason behind lack of interest.

• Nearly one-third of Hispanic outdoor recreation participants cite a lack of access to places to participate in outdoor activities as a top reason for failing to get into the outdoors more often.

Participation in Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation According to the USFWS National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, the number of U.S. hunters has dropped from 14 million in 1996 to 13 million in 2001 to 12.5 million in 2006. Angler numbers in the U.S. have likewise decreased from 35.2 million in 1996 to 34.1 million in 2001 to 30 million in 2006. In contrast, wildlife viewers in Texas, including birders, have increased significantly. This shift mirrors national trends.

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In Texas, the numbers of hunters and anglers have stayed about the same since 1996.

However, the general population of Texas has increased during this time, so the per capita percentage of Texans who hunt/fish has declined.

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In Texas, recreational hunting and fishing license sales revenue has steadily increased in recent years from about $81 million in 2005 to just over $94 million in 2011. License fees were increased by about 5% across the board in 2009, the first fee increase since 2004, and before that TPWD had not increased fees for eight years.

License revenue increased by almost $4 million in 2010 owing to the fee increase and to a great hunting/fishing season brought about by abundant rainfall. This was sadly followed by the worst drought in recorded history in 2011; causing significantly reduced lake levels with nearly a 5% decline in ©TPWD, 2004 fishing license sales (Miller, 2011).

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$40,000,000 $35,000,000 $30,000,000 $25,000,000 $20,000,000 $15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000 $0

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Sources: 2011 AFWA Annual Meeting, Conference Proceeding Notes by Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director.

TPWD, License Sales Reports 1998 - 2010, Tom Newton, License Sales Manager.

Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Participation in Boating Nationwide boating participation identified in the NSRE shows an increase in canoeing/kayaking, with a small decline in overall boating (Cordell & Green, National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, Texas Reports 1994-95, 2000-01 and 2006-09, 2009). The USFS reports 82 million adult Americans participated in recreational boating in 2009, with 12.7 million registered U.S. boats (Haas, 2010).

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According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Texas ranked number three of the top boating states for 2009, based on annual sales (Top Four US Boating States, 2010). Texas ranks number six in overall number of boats registered (ThomasNet News, 2008). Figure 5.4 shows total number of boats registered in Texas from 1992-2011.

A drop in registered boats in 2011 was most likely due to the reduced lake levels brought on by the worst one-year drought documented in the U.S.

“Texas’ Gulf of Mexico coastline only accounts for a portion of the recreational boating locations” with many “popular boating, fishing and water sport destinations” at Texas lakes (Top Four US Boating States, 2010).

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Source: TPWD, "County Stats Report", M204-BOT.RPT.004 & BRITS Monthly Registration by County Report. NOTE: Registrations valid for 2 years.

The Boating Access grant program, funded from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, provides 75% matching funds for construction and repairs to boat ramps, access roads and related improvements, and capital improvements to existing state boat ramp sites.

Since 2004, there have been 100 grant applications, with 73 projects funded for $21,239,551 across the state.

Participation in Camping According to the Outdoor Foundation, camping in the U.S. has seen steady participation in recent years. In 2006, 15.7% of U.S. residents participated in camping (including car, backyard, and RV camping) and 15.6% in 2009, with only slight fluctuations reported between those years.

Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan National statistics from the Outdoor Foundation are not directly comparable to the NSRE conducted by the USFS due to differing methodologies. For example, the Outdoor Foundation Report evaluates camping overall (including car, backyard, and RV camping) while the NSRE survey distinguishes between primitive and developed camping.

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In Texas, a more significant decrease was seen between 2000and 2006-2009. A 15% decrease was reported for developed camping, with 25.8% of Texans participating in 2000-2001 and only 21.9% in recent years (2006-2009).

Primitive camping has seen an even greater decrease at 39%, with 16% of Texans participating in 2000-2001 and only 9.7% in 2006-2009.

© TPWD, 2009

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Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand

While the number of motor home and travel trailer registrations is not likely to correlate directly with participation in camping, it can be a useful indicator of outdoor recreation.

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the number of motor home and travel trailer registrations has generally increased over the last 8 years, with 2005 being the only year in the last 7 that actually saw a decrease in the number of registrations.

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Visitation at Texas State Parks and National Parks Visitation at Texas State Parks has remained relatively stable in recent years. In FY 2009 visits totaled 7.45 million, while in FY 2010 there were 7.47 million visits, and in FY 2011 visits totaled 7.7 million. Historic trend data for state park visitation is not available as the department recently updated the methodology of counting park visitors in 2008.

Therefore, estimates preceding FY 2009 are not directly comparable.

National Park visitation has fluctuated from 270 million visits in 1995 to 281 million visits in 2010. Visitation has fluctuated up and down over the last 15 years, with the highest reported visitation in 1999 at 287 million.

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Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand

Nature Tourism and Participation in Nature-Based Outdoor Recreation The USFS studied long-term trends in nature-based outdoor recreation using data from the NSRE. The USFS’s Internet Research Information Series (IRIS) study, released in 2010, grouped nature-based outdoor activities into categories such as hunting and fishing, non-motor boating, motorized activities, viewing/ photographing nature, and visiting recreation and historic sites. Participation in motorized activities grew from 2000 up until about 2005; however, motorized activities along with hunting and fishing, visiting recreation and historic sites, and non-motor boating ended up toward the end of the decade to be about the same level of participation as in 2000. The group of activities encompassing “viewing and photographing nature” showed clear growth between 2000 and 2008.

Table 5.8 compares Texans’ participation in viewing and photographing birds compared to U.

S. resident participation. Although the study years are not directly comparable, the increases seen in Texans participating is similar to national trends.

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The growth in viewing and photographing nature has increased revenue in nature tourism as evidenced by an economic study completed by the Outdoor Industry Foundation (2006), where 66 million wildlife viewing participants contributed to the outdoor recreation economy. The study used “ripple effect” and “economic contribution” to determine the total national economic contribution of the outdoor recreation economy and concluded that the industry as a whole pumps $730 billion into the national economy. Within this total contribution, the study reports $243 billion in retail sales related to outdoor recreation trips (food/drink, transportation, entertainment/activities, lodging, and souvenirs/gifts/miscellaneous).

Nature tourism and the associated economic impact in Texas has not yet been extensively recorded and studied. However, a recent survey conducted by Texas A&M University examined nature tourism - specifically wildlife watching – in South Texas. The study concluded that those who visit South Texas to partake in bird or wildlife watching activities contribute over $300 million to the Rio Grande Valley economy per year.

Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Furthermore, the study found that almost one-quarter of leisure visitors coming to Hidalgo County and Cameron County travel to the Rio Grande Valley specifically to enjoy nature tourism.

In an effort to contribute to the understanding of Texas Nature Tourism, the Texas Agrilife Extension is currently conducting an ongoing project - The Texas Nature Tourism Inventory (TNTI) - to catalog the number of nature tourism businesses in Texas and indicate the economic significance of the nature tourism sector. The TNTI currently includes more than 10,000 Texas nature tourism operations. In the future it will be beneficial to take an in-depth look at Texas nature tourism business trends and compare the findings to that of the rest of the nation.

Outdoor Recreation Needs and Marketing Strategies for Texas State Parks

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