The Amenity Trap: How high-amenity communities can avoid being loved to death
More than ever, people are visiting and moving to places with inspiring natural amenities: forests, lakes, beaches, trails, and wildlife. A new report from Headwaters Economics explores the unique challenges facing amenity communities, and some of the solutions underway across the country.
Analysis of the first round of Community Wildfire Defense Grants
An independent analysis by Headwaters Economics shows that the first round of funding from the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program prioritized high-risk, low-income communities.
Decreasing flood risk in the Midwest with regional collaborations
A regional approach to flood risk can help communities pool resources and implement effective solutions. Five case studies offer lessons.
Building for wildfire
In this video produced by Headwaters Economics, homeowner Brodey Simkins describes the tragedy of losing his home to wildfire and his commitment to rebuilding with wildfire in mind.
Match requirements prevent rural and low-capacity communities from accessing climate resilience funding
Many federal grant programs require communities to provide a local match, creating barriers for rural and underserved places.
The Outdoor Recreation Economy by State
The outdoor recreation economy is large, growing faster than the overall economy, and consists of jobs in many industries. Explore data by state.
New research shows where wildfire mitigation can be highly cost effective
The United States is spending billions of dollars on suppressing wildfires that threaten a growing number of homes, but very little on better preparing communities before a wildfire occurs.
Economic impact of national parks
Millions of national park visitors generate economic opportunities for gateway communities, spending money that creates jobs and income. See the trends for every national park service unit.
Wildfire safety standards for Montana
Statewide wildfire safety standards are proven and cost effective. Montana can adopt standards to help make communities safer from increasing wildfire risks.
A rural capacity map
A new map helps identify communities where investments in staffing and expertise are needed to support infrastructure and climate resilience projects.
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Mountain, Midwest, and Gulf States fail to secure FEMA resilience funding
Rural and lower capacity communities failed to successfully compete for FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) funding in FY 2020.
Improving benefit-cost analyses for rural areas
Benefit-cost analysis, required for many federal funding sources, puts smaller, rural, and low-income communities at a disadvantage.
Watch: Living with widfire
Wildfires are an inescapable and necessary function of healthy ecosystems. In the past decade they have increased in severity and duration, killed more people, and burned more structures.
The unequal impacts of wildfire
See where wildfire risk intersects social and economic factors that can make it difficult for people to prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfire.
About Headwaters Economics
Headwaters Economics is an independent, nonprofit research group that works to improve community development and land management decisions.
Our Data Tools
Headwaters Economics maintains free, easy-to-use tools to help you better understand socioeconomic data and trends. Find data from dozens of sources for thousands of places in the United States.
Explore our free data tools
Our latest data updates:
- American Community Survey data are current through 2021 in the Economic Profile System and Neighborhoods at Risk (February 2023)
- Estimates of jobs and wages by industry current through 2021 in the Economic Profile System (December 2022)
- State-level data now searchable in Neighborhoods at Risk (October 2022)
- Nonemployer Statistics updated in the Economic Profile System reports for Mining, Oil, & Gas and Timber (September 2022)
- Tribal areas now searchable in Wildfire Risk to Communities (August 2022)
Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire
Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) works with communities to reduce wildfire risk through improved land use planning. The program is a program of Headwaters Economics, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service.
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