Western counties once dependent on timber today perform similarly to like-sized counties. Three case studies outline economic lessons from counties that weathered the timber transition.
Western counties are experiencing a wide disparity in youth migration. While some are attracting and keeping young adults and families, others are struggling.
Coal fiscal policies vary widely across the West in terms of how revenue is generated, set aside in permanent savings, or spent by state and local governments.
County governments, fire districts and service areas, and landowners have many opportunities to reduce wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface through land use planning tools and strategies, though challenges in Montana’s regulatory framework remain.
Hispanics account for roughly one in four westerners and one in six rural westerners.
This report summarizes Montana’s economy analyzing recent growth and what is driving its performance, including a description of how federal lands help attract people, investment, and businesses.
This research and interactive charts show that the local economies adjacent to all 17 national monuments studied in the West expanded following the monument’s creation.
This story map provides Taos County residents with information about the ecological role of fire, the region’s wildfire risk, forest restoration projects, and emergency preparedness.
Minority populations are growing in nearly all rural western counties, helping booming communities expand and slowing the decline in counties that otherwise would have lost people.
A guide to planning for the long-term social, economic and environmental well-being of the community of Colstrip, Montana.
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.
The rural West matters for at least three important reasons: the vitality of the region’s landscape; its impact on local, state, and national politics; and the future of the area’s people and communities.
Headwaters Economics compiled a number of regional reports, case studies, tools, research library, and related news articles on the value of public lands to nearby communities.
Wildfire experts outline key science insights important to inform policy discussions and development while reducing future risks and costs.
Explore socioeconomic trends in Gunnison County and neighboring Colorado counties.
While most western rural counties are aging and losing young families, the loss of school kids in rural western counties with protected lands such as National Monuments was, on average, less than half the rate of loss for similar counties without protected lands.
Unlike most countries and state governments, the U.S. has not created a natural resources trust which could help meet volatility and spending challenges facing local and county governments.
Update: Rural counties in the West with more federal lands performed better on average than their peers with less federal lands in four key economic measures.
This tool explores socioeconomic trends in Gunnison County, Colorado and compares them to neighboring counties and the state of Colorado.
Explore seasonal use—including the amount, type, and timing—for 25 regional trails and pathways.