Millions of national park visitors generate economic opportunities for gateway communities, spending money that creates jobs and income. See the trends for every national park service unit.
The United States is spending billions of dollars on suppressing wildfires that threaten a growing number of homes, but very little on better preparing communities before a wildfire occurs.
In light of rising wildfire risks, we analyzed the costs of constructing homes to three levels of wildfire resistance in California.
The Merced River Trail in Mariposa County, California will create benefits for the economy and businesses, quality of life, and public health.
One of the primary concerns about data from GPS tracking apps is that the users tend to be more frequent recreators or commuters and therefore do not accurately represent the actual population. This paper shows that there is a strong correlation between the reported share of people in a neighborhood commuting by active transportation between the American Community Survey (a nationally representative survey) and Strava (a GPS tracking app).
In Los Angeles, historic land use policies that emphasized low-density housing and did not prioritize public park spaces have led to significant inequities of park access across race, ethnicity, and income. A fund designed to improve access to public parks could exacerbate this problem unless it considers proposals for nontraditional public spaces such as schoolyards and vacant lots, because there is very little available park space in the most underserved neighborhoods.
By following a large sample of children over time, this study demonstrates that children who participate in recreation programs, or who live a walkable distance from parks, are much less likely to be obese or overweight. These benefits can be achieved through formal parks and programs, but also through accessible green space or other small, informal places that encourage informal play.
At a sample of recreation centers in southern California, researchers find that several measures of facility condition and amenities are better in high-income neighborhoods relative to low-income neighborhoods. The likelihood that a child uses the recreation center increases 23 percent for each $10,000 increase in neighborhood income, but the authors do not find a relationship between the quality of the facility and participation rates.
A large study of 50 urban parks in Southern California measures park use by nearby residents and other users across high-, medium-, and low-poverty areas, finding that parks are used less in high-poverty areas. Those who do use parks in high-poverty areas, however, on average use the parks more per week, are more likely to see familiar people in the parks, and use the parks more when there are more staff present.
This report on the potential for mountain bike tourism in Santa Cruz County, California demonstrates how trail advocates can use existing research studies to help make a case for trail development in their community. The authors argue that the presence of significant bike industry companies, a large existing social trail network, and appealing climate and terrain create a strong potential for mountain bike tourism.
This study found that trail users are willing to incur greater expenses and travel further to use rural trails, and spend more time on those trails while they are there, indicating these trails are enjoyed by both locals and non-locals. Urban trails, on the other hand, are mainly a resource for local residents, and are used much more frequently and for shorter periods of times.
This California report is part of a series that analyzes how and why the West is outperforming the nation, and the competitive advantage offered by its protected lands.
This Headwaters Economics study analyzes the impact of housing and climate on the costs of fighting forest fires in the twelve national forests of the Sierra Nevada.
The Siskiyou region is undergoing a significant economic transition. This report examines the region, counties within the region, and industry-level details.
Headwaters Economics held a public workshop for the Sequoia National Forest and the public.