New Mexico’s protected public lands, such as wilderness areas, monuments, and wildlife refuges, have a substantial impact on our local economy. From recreation and tourism—like camping, hiking, rafting, and birdwatching—to traditional uses—including hunting, fishing, ranching and acequia farming—our public lands support a wide variety of activities and attract both visitors and businesses to the Land of Enchantment. Moreover, they serve vital functions and provide harder-to-measure ecosystem benefits such as clean air, clean water, and wildlife habitat. These functions are essential to the environmental and human health of our state.
People come to the Pecos to hike, camp, ski, raft, hunt, fish, mountain bike, and horseback ride. Both its wild lands and its proximity to Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Española, Taos and Albuquerque, have made it a gem among outdoor enthusiasts. These visitors spend their money at local tourism and outdoor recreation businesses.
Outdoor recreation is critical to New Mexico’s economy. It generates $6.1 billion in consumer spending and is responsible for 68,000 direct jobs that generate $458 million in state and local tax revenue.
Tourism is New Mexico’s second largest industry, bringing more than $5.9 billion annually. According to a report by the New Mexico Tourism Department, over half (51.9%) of all overnight visitors to the state engage in outdoor activities.