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.
Economic Impact of National Parks
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.
Construction costs for a wildfire-resistant home: California edition
In light of rising wildfire risks, we analyzed the costs of constructing homes to three levels of wildfire resistance in California.
The economic potential of the Great American Rail-Trail
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.
Community benefits of the Merced River Trail
The Merced River Trail in Mariposa County, California will create benefits for the economy and businesses, quality of life, and public health.
Tension as Catalyst: Public Lands and the Rural West
View a presentation given at the Our America’s Rural Opportunity forum about the context of public lands and the rural west.
Association Between User-Generated Commuting Data and Population-Representative Active Commuting Surveillance Data—Four Cities, 2014-2015
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).
Parks and Park Funding in Los Angeles: An Equity-Mapping Analysis
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.
Childhood Obesity and Proximity to Urban Parks and Recreational Resources: A Longitudinal Cohort Study
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.
Neighborhood Income Matters: Disparities in Community Recreation Facilities, Amenities, and Programs
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.
Neighborhood Poverty, Park Use, and Park-Based Physical Activity in a Southern California City
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.
Oregon Snowmobiler Participation and Priorities
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.
Outdoor Recreation Scarcity and Abundance in Western Oregon: A Spatial Analysis
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.
Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities
Across Oregon, off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders account for approximately 3.1 million days of riding per year and nearly $100 million in spending. Sixty percent of respondents support increasing the OHV registration fee from $10 to $15, and more than half identify the maintenance of existing trails as the most important funding priority.
Adapting To the New Economy: The Impacts of Mountain Bike Tourism in Oakridge, Oregon
Mountain biking in Oakridge, Oregon contributes substantial economic activity to a small, isolated community deeply affected by the loss of timber jobs. Although the recent rapid growth in the area’s popularity has some residents concerned about cultural change, user conflicts, and environmental concerns, the author is confident these challenges can be overcome.
Economic Benefits of Mountain Bike Tourism for Santa Cruz County
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.
Oregon Non-Motorized Trail Participation and Priorities
Non-motorized trail users in Oregon account for 162.3 million user days per year, and the vast majority of these days are spent walking or hiking. While these recreation days are associated with substantial expenditures, the amount spent per person per day and the total economic impact vary greatly within the state.
Three Wests: Access to Markets Affects Performance
There are three distinct types of counties in the West—Metro, Connected, and Isolated—defined by their access to major markets and population centers.
Economic Development Opportunities in Wheeler County, Oregon
Like many rural counties in the West, Wheeler County faces economic difficulties. It also has untapped resources and opportunities, which suggest the possibility of a brighter economic future.
Evaluation of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Effect on Property Values and Crime
This study found that the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle is most often seen as an asset by those who moved to the neighborhood after it was built, while those who have lived there since before the trail was built are less likely to see the trail as increasing the sales price or ease of selling their home. Crime associated with the trail is negligible and adjacent property owners’ biggest concern is privacy.