Banner Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington via Flickr
Few public land managers use strategic tools to plan investments and ensure optimal decisions. Washington State Parks, recognizing the power of being strategic rather than opportunistic in decision making, engaged Earth Economics to create a tool that quantifies the social, environmental, and economic benefits of each state park in Washington State. The tool also lays a foundation for predicting hot spots for future acquisitions.
Community assets such as trails, parks and public open space provide numerous economic and social benefits, from improved health and reduced medical expenses to purchases at local businesses and job creation. Without access to trails, parks and open space, these benefits would be greatly diminished. This report summarizes the return on investment for community assets in the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Basin of south-central Alaska, including social (recreation, tourism, human health, public safety, subsistence, culture, and history) and economic (business, tax revenues, taxpayer savings) benefits.
This report demonstrates the value of Washington State Parks in connecting Washingtonians to outdoor recreation opportunities. State parks are responsible for $1.5 billion in consumer expenditures and serve as a vehicle for rural development as wealth transfers from urban to rural areas. State parks generate at least $64 million in state sales tax that directly benefits the Washington general fund. Every year, land conserved by the State Parks system also provides the state between $500 million and $1.2 billion in ecosystem services that include water quality improvements, native species habitat, and aesthetic values.
This report explores the importance of outdoor recreation in Whatcom County. The County's recreation-related businesses form an important hub of regional economic activity and contribute to the local tax base. This report includes an economic contribution analysis of outdoor recreation and further illustrates the value of Whatcom County's recreational lands through an ecosystem services valuation.
This report presents an independent environmental and social benchmarking analysis of Nautilus Minerals’ proposed deep seabed mining project. The primary goal of the analysis was to measure the environmental and social impacts of the Solwara 1 project in comparison with three terrestrial mines.
From hikes in the desert to a ski run down a mountain side, Washington State residents have numerous choices for outdoor recreation. These rich options also provide many families and businesses with jobs and revenue. This study quantified the contribution of outdoor recreation to Washington State's economy, finding that the outdoor recreation industry contributes $21.6 billion annually. This report was well-received and leveraged across the state, influencing the appointment of Washington State's first director of outdoor initiatives.
To view a full list of Earth Economics' publications since 1999, please visit our Publications Archive.