You Are Here: News Room

News Room (198)

Media Coverage of Research by Headwaters Economics
Headwaters Economics- In the NewsThe Coloradian 2014-04-18

…In a series of presentations at the Colorado Wildland Fire Conference in Glenwood Springs this week, Rasker, head of the Montana-based research group Headwaters Economics, discussed a controversial aspect of limiting fire devastation in the West. Everything is increasing — from length of fire seasons to temperatures — and the only thing humans can limit is development in Colorado’s wildfire zones, Rasker said…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsWyoFile 2014-04-08

…You may be asking, “Non-labor what?” Non-labor income includes things like investment and retirement income, and medical or economic hardship payments. Headwaters Economics recently released an in-depth study of non-labor income across the West to better understand how it affects communities…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsDenver Post 2014-04-05

…Missing from serious consideration is what some experts consider the most effective solution going forward: restricting building in fire-prone zones.

What hasn’t been tried is controlling development,” Ray Rasker, executive director of Headwaters Economics in Bozeman, Mont., said during a panel discussion on fire and the future of the wildland-urban interface Friday at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsNPR 2014-03-19

…Chris Mehl, the policy director at Headwaters Economics, an economic think tank that studies the cost of wildfires, says it’s good that Washington is looking for a change. “But I would argue that … also may miss the boat if that’s the only discussion rather than the future larger expenses.

Mehl says the cost of fire suppression has gone from $1 billion a year on average in the 1990s to $3 billion a year this decade. And the bigger trends are all wrong, too…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsThe New York Times 2014-02-23

In real dollar terms, adjusted for inflation, the Forest Service and Interior Department spent an average of $1.4 billion in annual wildfire protection from 1991 to 1999, according to a report by Headwaters Economics, a nonprofit research group. But that spending has more than doubled — from 2002 to 2012, the agencies spent an average of $3.5 billion to fight wildfires…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsCNBC 2014-02-21

…Also almost certain to grow is the cost of battling wildfires. National costs have averaged $1.8 billion annually for the past five years, and the 2012 fire season was among the most expensive on record for many regions and states, according to Headwater Economics, a nonprofit research group.

But if just half of the private lands near public forests are developed in the future, annual firefighting costs “could explode to between $2.3 and $4.3 billion,” said Headwaters. By comparison, the Forest Service’s total average annual budget is $5.5 billion. of which $2.1 billion is used for firefighting…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsBozeman Daily Chronicle 2014-02-16

Montana is missing out on the tax windfall provided by the oil and gas boom in the eastern half of the state, according to a local nonprofit research group.

A report by Headwaters Economics looked at seven major oil-producing states and compared tax revenue from wells that use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology, which are also known as “unconventional” wells…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsHigh Country News 2014-02-07

…Rasker’s “firetopia” may be a distant dream, yet he’s hopeful as he moves into the next phase: distilling and prioritizing forum outputs into palatable policy propositions, then presenting them to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., spring.

“As long as we’re talking about the 84 percent, as long as we’re finally talking about the undeveloped portion of the WUI,” Rasker said, “we’re making progress.”

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsWashington Post 2013-12-12

…Towns around the oil-rich Bakken formation in North Dakota, for instance, have been grappling with higher crime rates, heavy truck traffic and overcrowded schools. What’s more, there’s the risk that some counties may become overly dependent on a single industry that has a tendency to bust.

Are these downsides worth worrying about? A new paper from Headwaters Economics argues that they might be. The longitudinal study looked at various communities in six states out West — Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — that participated heavily in the 1980 oil boom. It then examined how those areas fared in the decades after that particular boom starting waning in 1982…

Headwaters Economics- In the NewsArizona Republic 2013-11-26

…The result is that federal and state taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year fighting Arizona wildfires and recovering from their aftermath, rather than spending tens of millions of dollars to thin forests….

“The only way local government is going to have the authority and the political cover they need to make these decisions is to hit their budget,” said Rasker, of Headwaters Economics.

If local officials had to balance wildland-fire fighting with funding for parks, street repairs and other civic duties, they might reconsider what kind of development they allow in fire-prone areas, Rasker said…