With other areas of Alabama enjoying an economic boon in manufacturing and industry, one well-known area of the state has discovered its treasure lies in its fertile soil and natural resources.
The Alabama Black Belt’s treasure is found in its abundant wildlife and fisheries with the multi-species hunting and angling opportunities and the significant economic boosts those provide.
At a press conference and book-signing event held at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery last week, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA) revealed the results of a study on the economic impact of hunting and fishing in the Black Belt, a swath of counties that cuts across the middle of the state.
The Black Belt counties are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.
“You may not know that hunting and fishing in the Black Belt generates $1 billion of economic impact and provides thousands of jobs throughout the 23-county area,” said Thomas Harris, ALBBAA president and founder. “There are over 11 million acres that are truly unique in this country with its abundance of wildlife, culture and heritage. These assets are on the ground and under our feet. Our mission has been to energize these assets and recruit these eco-tourism dollars to the region. This is a rural economic development program that is working.
“I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a leadership team and dedicated team of board members who are passionate about promoting and branding nationally the Alabama Black Belt Adventures as the premier destination for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.”
Alabama State Senator Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said the impact ALBBAA has on the area has been “tremendous.”
“Being a son of the soil, I want to thank the Black Belt