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.
While Montana is likely to experience relatively small impacts, coal-dependent communities in Eastern Montana are likely to feel the acute effects of job losses and declining tax revenue in the coming decades.
A 262-mile cycle touring loop connecting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, with significant portions on non-motorized pathways, has the potential to generate important economic activity in the small communities through which it would pass. However, due to the challenges of estimating economic impact across a large area and areas close to national parks, the use and economic impact estimates are likely overstated.
The High Divide region, recognized as one of the most intact biological areas in the lower 48 states, is attracting many new residents and home construction is changing the landscape.
This study found that cycle tourists in Montana spend an average of $76 per day and stay eight days in the state during their trip, much longer than the average tourist. Safety is cycle tourists’ top priority, so supporting more cycle touring in the state requires investments in safer routes, including narrower rumble strips, wider shoulders, and bike paths separate from roadways in high-traffic, high-speed areas.
This study found that snowmobiling is associated with high daily spending in Montana, with the average resident snowmobiler spending $108 per day and the average non-resident spending $148 per day. Despite the 4,000 miles of groomed trails available in the state, snowmobiling remains primarily an activity enjoyed by residents, who accounted for 93 percent of snowmobiling days in 2013.
This study found that while 70 percent of Missoula residents were willing to pay more taxes to acquire open space and build new trails and recreation facilities, still more (77%) were willing to pay more taxes to maintain existing facilities. Eighty-six percent of all residents had used City parks in the previous 12 months, highlighting the importance of within-community trails even in rural areas with public lands nearby.
This study found that the benefits of trails in Indian Country may be more significant than in other communities that are less culturally or spatially fragmented, less politically and economically marginalized, or less culturally tied to the landscape. Trails can provide particularly valuable benefits to residents of Indian Country, helping to improve residents’ quality of life in several dimensions: connecting tribal members to each other and to culturally significant sites and natural resources; providing safe alternative transportation routes across the reservation; providing opportunities for safe exercise; and providing opportunities for economic development and cultural education.
This study found that participants in backcountry, non-motorized winter recreation generate a substantial economic, employment, and fiscal impact in the Teton-West Yellowstone region. This is the only study we are aware of that assesses the impact of this type of recreation.
This report provides an overview of the Blackfoot River watershed’s economy and summarizes the findings from six focus groups that explored potential economic opportunities.
How can communities measure and take advantage of the economic impacts of nearby outdoor recreation activities on public lands?
Review the economic and demographic differences between Metro, Connected and Isolated counties.
This report compares how Montana provides local governments with production tax revenue from unconventional fossil fuel extraction compared to other major energy-producing states.
Headwaters Economics worked with the Clark Fork Coalition, U.S. Forest Service, and others to create an interactive tool that describes many of the stories behind the ongoing recovery of the Clark Fork River.
Montana’s recent economic growth and the role of protected public lands in supporting employment creation and higher per-capita income are explored in this report.
This report analyzes the Front’s land, people, and economy, how the region has changed in important ways during the past several decades, and the potential impact of the proposed Rocky Mountain Heritage Act on the Front.
This report analyzes the growing infrastructure and services needs of the Bakken boom and meeting the demands of unconventional energy development.
Headwaters Economics analyzed transmission infrastructure issues from the perspective of regional economic development, and other topics most relevant to local and state decision makers.
This report focuses on county-level details of drilling rig activity for the period 2001 to 2011 in the six Rocky Mountain oil and gas states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
A report on socioeconomic conditions of Missoula County as part of public process of developing a climate change adaptation plan.