BEND, OR -- Hunting and fishing are big business in Central Oregon. A new partnership now hopes to focus attention on how hunting positively impacts state and local economies. Outdoor guide and reporter Gary Lewis says Central Oregon is a unique example of how communities benefit from the industry. "We’re kind of in the crossroads. Madras is a really good example – people from Portland are driving through Madras as they’re heading east to hunt elk, deer, birds. And, so they stop there for fuel, stop a the Black Bear Diner for a meal, then they stop at the grocery store. And, it really has an impact on the community that people who are non-hunters might not notice."
Economic Development for Central Oregon, and the Oregon Outdoor Council joined Lewis Thursday in announcing the formation of Hunting Works for Oregon. Lewis says, "The reason Hunting Works and Hunting Works for Oregon is, we think necessary, is because people will form opinions and legislation arises that can severely impact economic activity and business. So, we want to be at the forefront of that and show positive impact that hunters bring to the community." The group is a partnership between sporting organizations, local businesses, chambers of commerce and other business groups.