The Economic Importance of National Monuments to Local Communities

This research and interactive map show that the economies of communities adjacent to 17 national monuments studied in the West all expanded following the monument’s creation.

  • Looking at key economic indicators, two-thirds of the communities adjacent to the national monuments studied (13 of 17), grew at the same or a faster pace compared to similar counties in their state, and four were slower.
  • Trends in important economic indicators—population, employment, personal income, and per-capita income—increased after creation of the monuments.
  • While the results showing continued growth in nearby communities does not demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship, the findings show that there is no evidence that the new national monuments prevented continued economic growth.

Visitor Center at National Monument
Headwaters Economics recently updated research that assesses the economic performance of local communities adjacent to national monuments in the West.

These updated results—like the earlier study—found that the local economies surrounding all 17 of the national monuments studied expanded following the creation of a new national monument.

The updated research includes both new summary and a fresh interactive map.

Click here for a study area map of the national monuments. There is also a digest of permitted uses for each national monument.