West North Central

Division 4

old faithful, yellowstone
Report

Economic Impact of National Parks

— This interactive and background materials show visits, spending, and the number of jobs created in gateway communities for every National Park Service unit.

read more
Trail

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Physical Activity Using Bike/Pedestrian Trails

— Trails in Lincoln, Nebraska have the potential to generate large benefits for trail users in terms of avoided medical costs. These benefits may significantly outweigh the per capita cost of trail construction and maintenance. However, due to simplifying assumptions made regarding both benefits and costs, the cost-benefit ratios are unreliable.

read more
Trail

Promoting Physical Activity in Rural Communities: Walking Trail Access, Use, and Effects

— This study found that walking trails in rural, southeastern Missouri communities are associated with the greatest increase in exercise for those most at risk of inactivity, particularly those who were not already regular walkers, have a high school education or less, or who earn less than $15,000 per year. Trails that were at least a half mile long, paved, or located in the smallest towns were associated with the largest increases in exercise.

read more
Trail

Economic and Health Benefits of Bicycling in Iowa

— This study found that cyclists in Iowa, including those who ride for recreation and to commute to work, contribute substantial spending associated with commuting and cycling trips within the state. The physical activity from cycling is associated with as much as $354 million lower annual health care costs due to fewer cases of heart and lung disease, and other diseases associated with less physical activity.

read more
Trail

The Economic Importance of Snowmobiling in Iowa

— This study found that snowmobiling is popular among Iowa households. However, snowmobiling’s economic impact in the state is relatively low because two-thirds of residents’ trips are taken in neighboring states and less than 1 percent of trips in-state are taken by out-of-state residents.

read more
Trail

Profile of 2008 Minnesota Recreational Trail Users

— This study found that walkers and hikers, while they have fairly low per-trip spending, generate nearly two-thirds of the total economic impact from trails-related recreation in Minnesota because many people participate and they participate often. Motorized recreation – both summer and winter – has the highest individual expenditures per trip.

read more
Trail

The Economic Impact of the South Dakota Snowmobiling Industry

— This study found that snowmobiling is a popular activity in South Dakota, and is associated with substantial spending each year. One area, the Black Hills, is a destination that draws resident and non-resident users, is highly-rated by all users, and generates substantial economic impact. The East River area, although more extensive, is not a destination, has lower user satisfaction, and generates less economic impact.

read more
Trail

Cook County Winter Trail Use Study: Technical Report

— This study found that residents of Cook County, Minnesota, a destination for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, see both activities as having a significant positive impact on the local economy. However, some residents are willing to have less local spending in exchange for fewer conflicts with residents and other user groups.

read more
Trail

Snowmobiling in Minnesota: Economic Impact and Consumer Profile

— This study found that while Minnesota snowmobilers spend a large and growing amount of money each year (nearly $200 million in 2004). However, less than half of that spending occurs at destination sites. Efforts to shift spending on expenses such as equipment and fuel could increase snowmobiling’s economic impact, particularly in rural destinations in northern parts of the state.

read more
Trail

Economic Impact of Recreational Trail Use in Different Regions of Minnesota

— This study found that across all regions in Minnesota, walkers and hikers are the largest group of trail users and account for most of the local spending, with half of the users in northern and central regions coming from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Activities such as ATV and snowmobiling are relatively small statewide in terms of users and spending, but they are very important sources of income in smaller communities in the northwest and northeast parts of the state.

read more
Trail

Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities

— This study found that across three communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, water trails have created a destination for non-local paddlers interested in multi-day trips. Communities are able to capture this economic opportunity only if businesses are immediately on the water or easily accessed via trail or shuttle, and if there are businesses that cater to paddlers, such as restaurants, lodging and camping, and shuttle and rental services.

read more
Trail

Nebraska Rural Trails: Three Studies of Trail Impact

— This study found that even in very rural places, developed trails provide valuable recreation opportunities for residents in addition to attracting new visitors and spending by non-locals. The results also suggest that trails contributed to increased community pride and a modest increase in activity levels, with few problems from crime or vandalism related to the trails.

read more
Trail

Omaha Recreational Trails: Their Effect on Property Values and Public Safety

— This study found that, according to the residents closest to the trails, the Omaha trail system has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on neighborhoods’ quality of life. The positive effects are not constant across all trails and neighborhoods, though, and neighborhoods that saw the greatest benefit were constructed concurrently with the trails.

read more
Trail

Trails on Tribal Lands in the United States

— 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.

read more
Trail

Economic Impact and Demographics of Recreational Horse Trail Users in Minnesota

— This study found that the average respondent rides on Minnnesota’s state-maintained horse trail system 33 days per year. Three-quarters of all trips are taken within 30 minutes of home, suggesting that the primary benefits from horse trails in Minnesota are in the enjoyment people derive from using trails close to home rather than in attracting non-local visitors.

read more
Trail

Outdoor Recreation Net Benefits of Rail-Trails

— 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.

read more
Trail

Two Approaches to Valuing Some Bicycle Facilities’ Presumed Benefits

— This study found that those commuting by bicycle are willing to go out of their way to use a safer route, with the largest detour for on-street, designated bicycle lanes, followed by routes without parking and routes with an off-street bicycle lane. The effect of these bicycle facilities on property values is mixed, depending on the type of facility and whether it is in an urban or suburban neighborhood.

read more
Trail

A Community-Based Approach to Promoting Walking in Rural Areas

— This study found that in southeastern Missouri, public health interventions to increase residents’ trail use, such as newsletters and fun walks, had no statistically-observable effect on residents’ walking habits or physical activity. A third of those who use the trail report increased overall physical activity levels since they began using the trail, suggesting while that trails can increase community physical activity, a primary challenge is getting residents to begin using them.

read more
Image of rig count interactive
Report

County Level Drilling Activity, 2001-2011

— 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.

read more
Aerial of Yellowstone River
Report

Yellowstone River Atlas

— This site documents the economic and demographic conditions of counties bordering the Yellowstone River, and displays maps showing past, current, and forecasted residential development along the river.

read more