The Department of Natural Resources funded a study conducted by the University of South Carolina to find out what kind of economic impact natural resources have on the Palmetto State. According to the study, it is a major part of South Carolina’s economy generating $30 billion a fiscal year. Dr. Doug Woodward of the Moore School of Business at USC says that natural sources resources affect several areas of the economy.
“Imagine South Carolina’s economy if we were landlocked and baron and then think about how it is right now,” said Woodward. “That’s how important the natural resources are to everything in South Carolina and everything to do with its business conditions.
“It has widespread effects. What we wanted to do is look at a way of calculated these effects. It is not easy because it is so pervasive. You can’t capture everything. So, in a way, this just gives us a snapshot of how immense and how important our natural resources really are.”
Emmit Davis, Chairman of the South Carolina Natural Resources Society, says this study shows how important funding for DNR is saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, the DNR is stressed at this time. The funding has been reduced as they have been in so many agencies but this agency has been hit particularly hard.
“We need to do everything we can to encourage getting the funding back to its fullest extent so we don’t lose these fine officers and we don’t lose these fine people that are so important to the state.”
Dr. Woodward says the lack of funding may not be felt initially but could have a major impact on natural resources in the future.
According to Woodward, “I think the evidence will be more in the future if we don’t keep up. I mean the impacts won’t be felt right away. When you cut back on DNR and, for example, people who are out there maintaining the quality and integrity of our natural assets, it doesn’t impact right away. That will be something that will occur over a number of years and will be very difficult to reverse. That’s what we mean by sustainability. We need a sustainable approach to maintaining the integrity of our natural resources.”