Reforming county payments by establishing a permanent Trust to fund Secure Rural Schools (SRS).
Economic Challenges and Opportunities in Taos County
The economic challenges and opportunities in Taos County stem from being both a bustling mountain resort town, and a rural community facing long-term socioeconomic challenges.
Assessing Wildfire and Populations at Risk
A new tool helps the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico assess wildfire and populations at risk.
Great Lakes Cities Vulnerability Assessment Tool
Identify neighborhoods in six Great Lakes cities that meet socioeconomic vulnerability criteria.
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.
Communities Reduce Wildfire Risk Through Land Use Planning
Updated: The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program now helps 30 communities reduce wildfire risk through improved land use planning.
West-Wide Economic Atlas
Explore socioeconomic and land use trends in the western eleven states.
Updated July 2019 with latest available population, economic, and land ownership data.
Know Your Economy: Tools for Every Community
Understanding your local economy and how it compares to peers is a crucial part of community and economic development.
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.
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.
Best Practices for States to Fund Outdoor Recreation
Seven case studies illustrate best practices and lessons learned to develop programs for outdoor state recreation funding.
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.
The Economic Importance of National Monuments to Communities
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.
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.
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.
National Monuments: Economic Performance Before and After Designation
Assess the UPDATED trends and performance of four key economic indicators in communities adjacent to national monuments: population, employment, personal income, and per capita income.
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.