Year: 2016

Newsletter: December 2016

— Our latest research on oil & natural gas taxes, the value of public and protected lands, communities utilizing land use planning to reduce wildfire risks and costs, trail use in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and migration patterns across the American West.

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DataViz / Series: State Energy Policies

What Do Local Governments Receive from Oil and Gas Production Taxes?

— Compare the effectiveness of states’ oil and natural gas tax policies to see which states ensure that tax revenue is available in the right amount, time, and location to manage drilling-related increases in the local demand for services. See which states invest in long-term infrastructure and economic diversification.

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Newsletter: November 2016

— Our latest research on dam removal benefits, Taos trails and access, socioeconomic data for every National Forest community, commercial activities on National Forests, and our newest staffer Kelly Pohl.

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Report

Dam Removal Case Studies

— Six dam removal case studies on the fiscal, economic, environmental, and social benefits of dam removal.

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Report

Taos Trails Are Popular But Trail Access Varies

— In the Taos, New Mexico area trails are a fundamental part of health and quality of life, but differences in access to trails may limit the benefits for Hispanic and low-income residents.

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graph of county payments
Report

County Payments Research

— County governments are compensated for the tax-exempt status of federal public lands within their boundaries. These payments often constitute a significant portion of county and school budgets, particularly in rural counties with extensive public land ownership.

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Headwaters-staff-Mark-Haggerty
Mark Haggerty
Blog

Changed Electric Power Markets Create New Volatility for Coal

— Lower overall coal generating capacity—the outcome of coal fired power plant retirements and a demand for coal that rises and falls depending on natural gas prices—will create new volatility for coal jobs and for counties, schools, and states that depend on tax revenues from coal.

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Newsletter: August and November 2016

— Our latest research on dam removal benefits, Taos trails and access, socioeconomic data for every National Forest community, commercial activities on National Forests, and our newest staffer Kelly Pohl.

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Newsletter: May 2016

— Our latest research showing the economic impact of every National Park Service unit, ways to reform wildlife refuge payments to local governments, an improved trails library, and a survey of the value of trails in Bonner County, Idaho.

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Trail Study

Comparing the Costs and Health Benefits of a Proposed Rail Trail

— In rural Nova Scotia, a proposed trail is expected to increase substantially the amount of physical activity of local residents, with over half of respondents predicting increased physical activity due to the trail. For every dollar spent constructing the trail, it is expected to generate at least $2 in avoided health care costs.

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Trail Study

D&L Trail 2012 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

— In eastern Pennsylvania, the D&L Trail receives approximately 283,000 visits annually, nearly half of whom report using the trail at least once a week. Although the economic impact estimates likely are significantly overstated, the trail’s effect on nearby residents’ health is a substantial, valuable asset.

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Trail Study

Oregon Snowmobiler Participation and Priorities

— Across Oregon, snowmobilers account for approximately 353,000 user days per year and $15 million in spending associated with snowmobile trips. Respondents are most concerned about the availability of backcountry, off-trail riding opportunities and sustaining access to existing riding areas.

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Trail Study

Outdoor Recreation Scarcity and Abundance in Western Oregon: A Spatial Analysis

— Across western Oregon, there is substantial variation in how well the supply of hiking, mountain biking, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails meets demand for these trails by local users. Although some communities have many miles of trails, such as the 146 miles of mountain biking trails within 60 minutes of Portland, the supply of trails may be too low to support the number of people using them.

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Trail Study

Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities

— Across Oregon, off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders account for approximately 3.1 million days of riding per year and nearly $100 million in spending. Sixty percent of respondents support increasing the OHV registration fee from $10 to $15, and more than half identify the maintenance of existing trails as the most important funding priority.

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Trail Study

Bonner County Trails Final Survey Results

— In rural Bonner County in northern Idaho, trails are used by three-quarters of residents an average of every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Trail use is high for all residents, even accounting for differences in the length of residence in the county, income, and age. Business owners are more likely to identify trails as an important factor in their decision to move to the county.

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Trail Study

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail: Economic Impacts and Implications for Sustainable Community Development

— Across New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine, the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) draws 90,000 users annually. Although most users visit areas with other attractions and established tourist infrastructure like hotels and restaurants, the smaller number of visitors to remote parts of the trail bring valuable outside spending.

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Trail Study

Evaluating the Economic Benefits and Future Opportunities of the Maine Island Trail Association

— Along the coast, the Maine Island Trail connects 183 islands along 375 miles of coastline, attracting 11,385 users per year who bring $553,000 in new spending to the area. This is an excellent example of an economic impact study that carefully identifies new spending that would not have occurred without the trail, as opposed to spending that would happen regardless of the trail’s presence.

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Trail Study

Impact of All-Terrain Vehicle Access on the Demand for a Proposed Trail

— In rural Nova Scotia, a proposed trail is predicted to attract 160,000 users per year. Because motorized vehicle use is expected to diminish the quality of non-motorized users’ experience, allowing all-terrain vehicles on the trail is predicted to cut the number of total visits in half.

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Trail Study

Happy Trails: The Effect of a Media Campaign on Urban Trail Use in Southern Nevada

— A media campaign to promote a trails information site in Las Vegas, Nevada appears to have significantly increased trail use across most trails studied. The size of the gain in trail use appears to be independent of trail lighting, landscaping, and trail length.

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Trail Study

Erie to Pittsburgh Trail 2013 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

— The Erie Pittsburgh Trail, a network of six connected rail trails in rural northwest Pennsylvania, draw 158,507 users each year. Nine of ten trail users are from Pennsylvania and more than half of all users are riding bikes.

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Trail Study

The Economic Impact of the Erie Canalway Trail: An Assessment and User Profile of New York’s Longest Multi-Use Trail

— Across upstate New York, the 277-mile Erie Canalway Trail is associated with 1.6 million annual visits, only three percent of which come from outside the region. However, because those non-locals spend large amounts on lodging, the trail generates more than $55 million in spending annually.

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Trail Study

Determinants of Demand for Recreational Walking Trails in Ireland

— Visitors to walking trails in rural Ireland are likely to spend more to visit flat or valley trails, as well as trails that have signage and maps. The authors use the results to evaluate a set of proposed trails to identify those most likely to bring the most visitors and generate the greatest economic impact.

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Trail Study

Behavioral Effects of Completing a Critical Link in the American Tobacco Trail

— In Durham, North Carolina, a bicycle-pedestrian bridge was built to connect two previously separate segments of a regional trail, leading to a 133 percent increase in trail use after its construction. This new connection allows the researchers to demonstrate a substantial increase in physical activity attributable to the bridge, with significant public health benefits for trail users.

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Newsletter: April 2016

— Our latest research showing the new tool: Populations at Risk (PAR); the Economic Profile System (EPS); and our new Associate Director, Patty Gude.

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Newsletter: March 2016

— Our latest research on communities threatened by wildfire, the West's economy, trail and pathway use in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a report on planning for Montana's energy transition.

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Report

Survey Finds Trails Valued Across Bonner County

— Survey provides information on Bonner County's trail system and will help prioritize improvements based on resident usage, satisfaction, reasons for living in the area.

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Report

Planning for Montana’s Energy Transition

— While Montana is likely to experience relatively small impacts, coal-dependent communities in Eastern Montana are likely to feel the acute effects of job losses and declining tax revenue in the coming decades.

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county payments map
DataViz

County Payments: History, Context, and Policy

— These interactive maps show how federal land payments are distributed to counties and states. Explore both the Payments History maps as well as the Policy Options maps which project what happens if SRS is not reauthorized or if PILT is reformed into a single payment to counties.

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Newsletter: February 2016

— Our latest research on federal lands in the rural West, land use planning to reduce wildfire risk, and a paper from ten wildfire experts to inform future policy decisions.

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Report

Land Use Planning to Reduce Wildfire Risk

— Case studies show how five urban areas in the West are using innovative land use planning tools to adapt to the increasing risks from wildfires.

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