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.
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.
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.
View a presentation given at the Our America’s Rural Opportunity forum about the context of public lands and the rural west.
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.
This study found that the Galbraith Mountain mountain bike trail system is a valuable asset for local residents, many of whom moved to the area or stay in the area because of the trails, and for visitors, who visit frequently and spend money at local businesses. While the club building the trails is developing a destination-worthy trail system, they are also providing significant benefits for the local cycling community.
This study found that the 200-kilometer Nordic skiing trail network in the Methow Valley of Washington state is the reason why many people visit the area and choose to purchase homes there. Non-resident trail users and residents alike are largely willing to pay some amount of money to support trail maintenance and additional trail construction.
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 wilderness trail users are willing to travel farther (and therefore spend more) to reach trails with campgrounds, old-growth forests, and views. Conversely, they avoid trails with long dirt road approaches and clear-cuts visible from the trail.
This study found that surveys that directly extrapolate the number of times an individual person visits a trail to the general population will significantly overstate the future trail use. Care must be taken to account for the differences between those interviewed at the trailhead and the rest of the population.
This fact sheet summarizes Washington’s recent economic growth and the role of protected public lands in supporting faster job creation and higher per-capita income.
Report on the economy of the Olympics Peninsula and impact of the Wild Olympics proposal.
This report on land ownership and the ranching economy in the Okanogan Valley and Eastern Okanogan County focuses on fragmentation and turnover in large, agricultural properties and the effects of these trends.
This report examines the importance of southwest Montana timber to the Union Pacific Railroad line, and the significance of the railroad as a mode of transportation for timber-related manufacturers.
This study reviews the possible impacts of the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition’s “Blueprint” proposal for managing National Forest lands in the region.