— New fiscal and policy assessments help local leaders understand their exposure to declining revenue and policy barriers during a coal transition.read moreof Coal Transition in Montrose County, Colorado
— Investing in outdoor recreation is one of several strategies that can help rural communities thrive in a changing economy.read moreof How Outdoor Recreation Supports Rural Economic Development
— Updated: For communities land use planning is more effective than logging on federal lands to reduce future wildfire disasters.read moreof Land Use Planning More Effective Than Logging to Reduce Wildfire Risk
— Partners in Colorado’s San Luis Valley are working to better understand the impacts of wildfire to communities, watersheds, and quality of life.read moreof Wildfire, Watersheds, and the Wildland-Urban Interface in the San Luis Valley
— Analysis shows raising Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) population limits for small-population counties would increase total payments by $5.7 to $6.6 million annually.read moreof PILT Proposal Would Help Small-Population Counties
— Urban trail efforts increasingly are focusing on providing equitable access to trails. Trails and parks can create substantial benefits for public health, property values, and quality of life.read moreof City Trails: Improving Equitable Access
— Western counties are experiencing a wide disparity in youth migration. While some are attracting and keeping young adults and families, others are struggling.read moreof Youth Migration in the West
— While national poverty rates dropped in the last year, the county-level picture is mixed.read moreof Which Counties Saw Significant Changes in Poverty Rates?
— Hispanics account for roughly one in four westerners and one in six rural westerners.read moreof The Growth of Hispanic Populations Across the West
— Lack of access to a vehicle, poverty, and disabilities, can make evacuation difficult or impossible for some households.read moreof Disasters and Populations at Risk: Lack of Vehicle Makes Evacuation Difficult
— A lack of land use planning amplified the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. Wildfire-prone communities should take note.read moreof Fire & Flood: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey for Wildfire
— National interactive map and charts show Medicaid-dependent counties and populations at risk.read moreof Which Counties Are Most Reliant on Medicaid?
— A guide to planning for the long-term social, economic and environmental well-being of the community of Colstrip, Montana.read moreof The Context and Status of Colstrip’s Coal-Fired Power Plant
— 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.read moreof Rural Communities, School Kids, and Federal Lands in the West
— The wildfires that burned the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park devastated nearby communities and underscore the need to reduce the risks and costs of future catastrophic events.read moreof Tennessee Wildfires: Now Is the Time to Plan
— The new Administration’s plans to remove coal regulations should not dampen efforts to shift coal transition planning West to assist displaced workers and diversify coal-dependent communities.read moreof As Energy Market Forces Shift Coal Woes West, Transition Planning Should Follow
— Trails are good for people, but the health and social benefits of trails are not equally available to everyone.read moreof Trails Are Good for All But Not Available to All
— Many people talk about trails and quality of life, but how do we measure and obtain it?read moreof Trails and the Elusive Quality of Life
— This blog draws on federal data and research to describe more about the local economies of the communities dependent on federal coal.read moreof Economic Conditions in Communities Dependent on Federal 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.read moreof Changed Electric Power Markets Create New Volatility for Coal
— Mapping and understanding communities at risk from wildfires just became easier with a new interactive tool generated by Headwaters Economics.read moreof Identifying Communities at Risk to Wildfire
— Updated tools, research, and studies on the benefit of trails to communities and local citizens.read moreof Measuring the Benefit of Trails to Communities
— How national wildlife refuge payments--especially important to rural counties--could be reformed and funded.read moreof Wildlife Refuge Payments: Reforms and Funding
— Five urban areas in the West and Southwest are taking steps to mitigate wildfire risks and costs through the perspective of land use planning.read moreof Rising Wildfire Costs Encourage Better Land Use Planning
— Headwaters Economics has updated its Trails Library to include 105 studies on trails, searchable by benefit, use, year, and region.read moreof Trails and the Benefits to Your Community
— Understanding the local economy, and how it compares to peers, is a crucial part of smart community and economic development. Several new tools, utilizing the latest data (through 2014), now are available for every county in the nation.read moreof Know Your Economy: Economic Tools Updated for Every County
— Many Congressional Districts benefit from LWCF, and Republican Districts have seen disproportionate LWCF investment for federal land acquisition.read moreof LWCF Rewards Republican Congressional Districts
— Understanding what drives the local economy is crucial to smart community and economic development. This map provides detailed socioeconomic reports for every county.read moreof One Click: Socioeconomic Reports for Every County
— Despite being known for its rural landscapes, the West is surprisingly urban.read moreof Urban Areas Drive Economic Growth in the West
— In the West today, what economic sectors are driving the economy and make up the growing workforce?read moreof The West Today: What Sectors Drive the Economy?
— The Office of Natural Resources Revenue recently proposed a new rule that would change the way federal coal is valued for royalty purposes. Will it hurt the industry? Yes and No.read moreof Will Federal Coal Valuation Reforms Hurt the Coal Industry? Yes And No
— A sample of research and free tools available to help communities better understand the potential socioeconomic impacts of climate change.read moreof Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Cities, Counties, and National Forest Regions
— How can communities measure and take advantage of the economic impacts of nearby outdoor recreation activities on public lands?read moreof Understanding the Recreation Economy on Nearby Public Lands
— Getting the economics right is important for communities to compete in a modern economy. We've created a number of tools to help rural, western communities better understand current trends as well as the role of the nearby National Forest or other public lands.read moreof Getting the Economics Right: Communities, National Forests, and Local Development Decisions
— Compared to other nations and even U.S. states, the federal government is a conspicuous laggard in creating a natural resources trust which would allow for stable, permanent, and ever rising payments to states and local governments without risks to taxpayers.read moreof Time for a U.S. Natural Resources Trust?
— Lower oil prices could be great for the economy, but for the communities dependent on drilling, the price drop may prove challenging for several reasons.read moreof Falling Oil Prices: Good for the U.S. Economy, Bad for Shale Communities?
— It's All Hallow's Eve, so we decided to look at western counties where the dead most recently were living. But a high death rate does not mean a county is faring poorly. Like most things, it’s complicated.read moreof On Halloween, Many Counties with High Death Rates Still Growing
— Protected federal lands (such as Wilderness or National Parks) not only preserve unique landscapes, but have the potential to attract in-migrants such as baby boomers, which in turn help support a robust local economy.read moreof Baby Boomers Move Near Protected Lands, Help Drive Economies
— Today's economy is much different than what we hear in the rhetoric from current politicians. We need our leaders to wrestle with current problems rather than old ones.read moreof Today’s Economy, Political Rhetoric Too Often Don’t Match
— The failure of Congress to pass wildfire disaster funding is a missed opportunity for two reasons: one to stop 'fire borrowing' and second to reduce risks and costs to homeowners and the taxpayer.read moreof Wildfire Budget, Incentives, and Missed Opportunities