The Economic Benefits of Southern New Mexico’s Natural Assets

This report examines how investments in conservation and restoration provide both an immediate return through employment and revenue and help promote long-term economic growth that extends far beyond tourism.

Conserving one of southern New Mexico’s greatest assets, the region’s enchanting natural areas, is a foundation for economic vibrancy and quality of life. Tourism alone is the state’s second largest industry, bringing more than $5.7 billion to New Mexico annually. A sustained effort to protect wildlife, increase outdoor recreation, and restore watersheds and forests provides direct benefits, including new jobs in local communities.

This report examines how investments in conservation and restoration can provide not only an immediate return through employment and revenue, but also help promote long-term economic growth and development that extends far beyond tourism. In today’s economy, the greatest value of southern New Mexico’s natural amenities and recreation opportunities lies in their ability to attract and retain people, entrepreneurs, their businesses, and the growing number of retirees who locate for quality of life reasons.

Click here for a map of the southern New Mexico study region.

Headwaters Economics completed this report for Audubon New Mexico.

Report and Related Materials

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment. Their national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy engages millions of people from all walks of life to protect and restore the natural world.