Michael Cline, PhD* - Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University
Steve H Murdock, PhD - Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University
Brian Bohnsack, PhD - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Richard Aiken, PhD - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Participation in hunting, fishing and other traditional outdoor recreational activities have steadily declined over the last twenty years. As a group, young non-Hispanic white males participate in these activities more often than any other group and yet, this group has grown more slowly over the past few decades. The non-Hispanic white population accounted for only 8.3 percent of the total growth in the population between 2000 and 2010. Minority population growth, and particularly growth in the Hispanic or Latino population is impacting changes in not only politics (as evidenced by the Hispanic influence on the 2012 Presidential election), but is impacting changes in all areas, including recreational services. In this paper, we review the recent historical demographic changes and trends in outdoor recreational participation. Then we forecast outdoor recreational participation assuming current rates and alternative scenarios of recreational use by race/ethnicity and age. We discuss the implications of these changes for outdoor recreation businesses and public recreation planning.