This research and interactive charts show that the local economies adjacent to all 17 national monuments studied in the West expanded following the monument’s creation.
Archives for 2017
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.
Minority Populations Driving County Growth in the Rural West
Minority populations are growing in nearly all rural western counties, helping booming communities expand and slowing the decline in counties that otherwise would have lost people.
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.
The Context and Status of Colstrip’s Coal-Fired Power Plant
A guide to planning for the long-term social, economic and environmental well-being of the community of Colstrip, Montana.
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.
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.
President’s Budget Proposal Cuts County Payments
New analysis and interactive map show how the President’s budget proposal cuts county payments and the impact for every county in the nation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Economic Value of Federal Public Lands (slides)
Slide show: The role of federal lands in rural development.
Wildfire Experts’ Paper Informs Effective Policy
Wildfire experts outline key science insights important to inform policy discussions and development while reducing future risks and costs.
Comparing Trends and Prosperity in Gunnison County
Explore socioeconomic trends in Gunnison County and neighboring Colorado counties.
Rural Communities, School Kids, and Federal Lands in the West
While most western rural counties are aging and losing young families, the loss of school kids in rural western counties with protected lands such as National Monuments was, on average, less than half the rate of loss for similar counties without protected lands.
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.
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.
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.
Federal Lands in the West: Liability or Asset?
Update: 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.