This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Washington State. The report includes estimates on spending, jobs, income, impact on GDP, consumer surplus, and environmental benefits of outdoor recreation. In 2019, outdoor recreation in Washington contributed $26.5 billion in spending and supported 264,000 jobs, compared to $21.5 billion and […]
This study examines the biases in social media analyses using different data sources that estimate the number and demographics of visitors to urban parks. Flickr, Instagram, an on-site survey, an online/phone survey, and an AI facial recognition program are utilized to address the bias that can be generated from different social media platforms. The number […]
This study analyzes how visitation in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington changed as a result of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. A visitation model is constructed by incorporating data from social media to measure visitation patterns and used to look for a substitution effect on nearby recreation sites after the fire.
This study uses mobile data from the analysis platform Streetlight to estimate visitor use in four urban parks and protected areas in Orange County, California. The mobile device methods are compared to other trail counting methods to determine whether mobile device data could be a reliable measure of trailhead visitation counts and spatial distribution of […]
This study evaluates how social media predicts visitation across multiple sites. Two geographically different areas were chosen to evaluate how well visitation models can be generalized to different areas. Adding social media data to a model was found to improve visitor estimates at unmonitored sites, even when a model is parameterized with data from another […]
Residents in four large metropolitan areas in California were interviewed by phone to determine differences in outdoor recreation participation in national forests by ethnoracial groups, age, and gender. The researchers found that the most listed constraint to participation among all groups was a lack of time, though minority respondents were more likely to list resource-related […]
The authors conducted a survey in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Los Angeles to understand park accessibility and how socio-demographic characteristics affect individuals’ use of the park. They found that the average park user is white, male, middle-aged, has a college education, earns between $50,000-$75,000 per annum, and was born in the United […]
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.
Through 12 states and the District of Columbia, the Great American Rail-Trail® will attract 25.6 million trips and generate more than $229.4 million in spending.
The Merced River Trail in Mariposa County, California will create benefits for the economy and businesses, quality of life, and public health.
View a presentation given at the Our America’s Rural Opportunity forum about the context of public lands and the rural west.
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.
Across Oregon, snowmobilers account for approximately 353,000 user days per year and $15 million in spending associated with snowmobile trips. Respondents are most concerned about the availability of backcountry, off-trail riding opportunities and sustaining access to existing riding areas.
Across western Oregon, there is substantial variation in how well the supply of hiking, mountain biking, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails meets demand for these trails by local users. Although some communities have many miles of trails, such as the 146 miles of mountain biking trails within 60 minutes of Portland, the supply of trails may be too low to support the number of people using them.