Investing in outdoor recreation is one of several strategies that can help rural communities thrive in a changing economy.
Recreation Counties Attract New Residents and Higher Incomes
Recreation counties, especially in non-metro places, draw new residents and have higher incomes and faster earnings growth than places without recreation.
Trails Toolkit: Helping Communities Invest Wisely
Communities and local leaders can utilize this trails toolkit to better understand whether and how trails can accomplish local goals, along with the cost and benefits of proposed projects.
Bureau of Land Management Socioeconomic Profiles
Download socioeconomic reports for states and counties near Bureau of Land Management units.
Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Economy
A new report highlights the role of Montana’s outdoor recreation economy in spending, jobs, and economic diversification.
City Trails: Improving Equitable Access
Urban trail efforts increasingly are focusing on providing equitable access to trails. Trails and parks can create substantial benefits for public health, property values, and quality of life.
Economic Diversification and Outdoor Recreation in Bonner County
Improving economic diversification and outdoor recreation in Bonner County will bring new spending and jobs to the community.
Populations at Risk
Populations at Risk quickly and easily generates and downloads reports about populations more likely to experience adverse social, health, or economic outcomes.
Best Practices for Watersheds and Recreation
Best practices for balancing the needs for clean drinking water, recreation, and economic development in municipal watersheds.
New Montana Homes Increase Wildfire Risks
The number of western Montana homes in areas with high wildfire hazard has doubled, outpacing development rates in areas with low wildfire hazard.
Coal Communities Lack Strong Transition Plans
A recent review published in the Resources Policy journal with researchers at Montana State University shows that coal communities lack strong transition plans and largely are unprepared for coming changes.
Gallatin County’s Economy, Growth, and Open Space
This report summarizes Gallatin County’s economy, how it has grown, and what is driving its performance. The report also describes how growth threatens open space and the role these lands play in local quality of life.
Measuring Whitefish Trail Use
Outdoor recreation and the economic impact of Whitefish Trail use in Whitefish, Montana.
Montana Losing Open Space
From 1990 to 2018, the number of single-family homes in Montana grew by more than 50 percent, and the popularity of large lots converted 1.3 million acres of undeveloped land to housing.
Montana Losing Open Space: Sortable Data
Review the different rates of home construction and loss of open space across Montana counties.
Estimating Trail Use
By pairing limited, local surveys with activity tracking app data, we are estimating trail use across large areas.
Benefits of a Frontage Path in Gallatin County, Montana
Updated: This report describes the benefits of a frontage path–a proposed paved, multi-use pathway connecting Belgrade and Bozeman along an approximately ten-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 10 in Gallatin County.
Economic Challenges and Opportunities in Taos County
The economic challenges and opportunities in Taos County stem from being both a bustling mountain resort town, and a rural community facing long-term socioeconomic challenges.
Great Lakes Cities Vulnerability Assessment Tool
Identify neighborhoods in six Great Lakes cities that meet socioeconomic vulnerability criteria.
Lessons from the Timber Transition
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.