Year: 2017

Newsletter: December 2017

— Our latest research on timber transitions, improving coal fiscal policies, planning for wildfire risk in Montana, and staff commentary on county poverty rates and youth migration in the West.

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Report / Series: Rural West Insights

Lessons from the Timber Transition

— Western counties once dependent on timber today perform similarly to like-sized counties. Three case studies outline economic lessons from counties that weathered the timber transition.

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Newsletter: November 2017

— Our latest research on helping communities reduce wildfire risk, the latest data and updated tools to help users better understand their economy, the West-Wide Atlas, and the Economic Profile System.

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coal fiscal policies
Report

Comparing Coal Fiscal Policies for Western States

— Coal fiscal policies vary widely across the West in terms of how revenue is generated, set aside in permanent savings, or spent by state and local governments.

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Report

Planning Tools to Reduce Montana’s Wildfire Risk

— County governments, fire districts and service areas, and landowners have many opportunities to reduce wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface through land use planning tools and strategies, though challenges in Montana’s regulatory framework remain.

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Newsletter: September 2017

— Our latest research on best practices to fund state outdoor recreation, Montana's economy, Taos and wildfire, and blog commentary from staff.

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Newsletter: August 2017

— Our latest research on the importance of non-labor income, minority populations in the rural West, assistance to communities to reduce wildfire risk, and new data showing commercial activities on National Forests.

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Report

Montana’s Economy, Public Lands, and Competitive Advantage

— This report summarizes Montana’s economy analyzing recent growth and what is driving its performance, including a description of how federal lands help attract people, investment, and businesses.

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Report

Resilient Taos County: Living with Wildfire

— This story map provides Taos County residents with information about the ecological role of fire, the region’s wildfire risk, forest restoration projects, and emergency preparedness.

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Report / Series: Rural West Insights

Economy Surprisingly Dependent on Non-Labor Income

— Non-labor income sources such as investments, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid often are the largest and fastest growing sources of personal income for many counties. Rural counties especially are surprisingly dependent on non-labor income.

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Commercial Activities on National Forests
Report

Commercial Activities on National Forests

— Updated: Headwaters Economics produced two interactive maps to show the range of commercial activities on National Forests at the Forest, state and forest region levels.

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Newsletter: July 2017

— Our latest research on proposed budget cuts to county payments, identifying populations at risk, comparing socioeconomic trends in Gunnison County, Colorado to adjacent counties, and rural economic development in Lincoln, Montana.

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Hooper Park Pavilion, Lincoln, Montana
Report

Rural Economic Development in Lincoln, Montana

— Many rural western towns face economic uncertainty. This report—informed by interviews and public meetings with residents—compares Lincoln to peer communities and outlines rural economic development options building on the town’s strengths.

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Newsletter: June 2017

— Our latest research on the local economic importance of National Monuments, the impact of every National Park Service unit to gateway communities, and details for public lands in every county and state in the nation.

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Newsletter: April 2017

— Our latest research on the rural West, communities at risk from closing coal plants, improving wildfire policy to reduce risks and costs, and using the latest data to better understand the characteristics of your community—whether age, housing costs, race, poverty, or education.

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Report / Series: Rural West Insights

Why the Rural West Matters

— The rural West matters for at least three important reasons: the vitality of the region’s landscape; its impact on local, state, and national politics; and the future of the area’s people and communities.

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Report

The Value of Public Lands

— Headwaters Economics compiled a number of regional reports, case studies, tools, research library, and related news articles on the value of public lands to nearby communities.

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Report

Communities at Risk from Closing Coal Plants

— This post compares economic and demographic characteristics of communities where coal-fired power plants have recently retired or are scheduled to retire.

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Report

Time to Create a Natural Resources Trust

— Unlike most countries and state governments, the U.S. has not created a natural resources trust which could help meet volatility and spending challenges facing local and county governments.

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Newsletter: February 2017

— Our latest research on the value of federal public lands, manufacturing in the West, economic data and trends for communities, and government employment's role in local economies.

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federal lands data visualization
DataViz

Federal Lands in the Rural West: Liability or Asset?

— Rural counties in the West with more federal lands performed better on average than their peers with less federal lands in four key economic measures. Explore the trends and exceptions across the rural West.

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