…Protected public lands are a competitive economic advantage in southern New Mexico and Doña Ana County. These lands safeguard important natural assets and cultural landmarks, stimulate tourism and recreation jobs, and attract new people and businesses…
A large and growing body of literature demonstrates that protected public lands assist western communities working to promote a more robust economic future.
- Outdoor recreation is important to western economies. In New Mexico, for example, the Outdoor Industry Foundation reports that active outdoor recreation contributes $3.8 billion annually to the state’s economy, supporting 43,000 jobs.
- Services jobs such as engineers and architects are increasingly mobile, and many entrepreneurs locate their businesses in areas with a high quality of life. Conserving lands, while also creating a new visibility for them through protective designations, helps safeguard and highlight the amenities that attract people and businesses.
- For many seniors and soon-to-be retirees, protected public lands and recreation provide important aspects of a high quality of life. Non-labor sources of income already represent more than a third of all personal income in the West–and will grow as the Baby Boomer generation retires.4
- The counties in the West with protected public lands, like national monuments, have been more successful at attracting fast-growing economic sectors and as a result grow more quickly, on average, than counties without protected public lands.
- Protected natural amenities–such as pristine scenery and wildlife–help sustain property values and attract new investment.…