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Research that Supports Recreation

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$1 Billion Recreation Spending in the Sagebrush Lands

Key Message

Protecting the sagebrush ecosystems in the western US will benefit local economies.


Lee, Kristin, Rempel, Austin, and Weinerman, Michael. (2014). Recreation Spending & BLM Sagebrush Lands. Eugene, OR: ECONorthwest.


ECONorthwest was commissioned by the Western Values Project and The Pew Charitable Trusts to describe the economic contribution of recreation on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sagebrush lands in 11 western states.  The same sagebrush ecosystems that provide habitat for sage‑grouse and other wildlife species such as mule deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, and golden eagles also provide opportunities for people to hike, camp, hunt, and engage in a variety of other recreational pursuits. Recreation visitors make expenditures in communities near BLM‑managed lands in conjunction with day trips and overnight stays. These expenditures stimulate additional economic activity, supporting incomes and economic output in those local communities and elsewhere.


The direct expenditures during 2013 resulted in overall contributions to the U.S. economy of approximately $283 million in personal income, $562 million in value‑added, and economic output of over $1 billion. These amounts likely underestimate the total economic contributions, as they are based on the amounts spent in nearby communities rather than the total amounts spent on recreational trips.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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