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Individual Highlight

Revealing the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in national forests

Photo of Hikers in the Olympic National Forest, Washington. Hikers in the Olympic National Forest, Washington. Snapshot : Forest Service research provides updated data and technical guidance for computing the economic benefits of recreation at national, regional, and individual national forest-levels. Analyses of recreation trends and associated spending helps national forests plan and allocate resources for recreation management along with other forest uses.

Principal Investigators(s) :
White, Eric M.  
Research Location : National
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1358

Summary

Outdoor recreation is a major use of national forests. It is highly valued by the public, generates substantial public health benefits, and generates more economic activity nationally than all other uses of National Forest System land. Managing for recreation alongside other forest uses, such as timber production, depends on an accurate understanding of present and future recreation patterns and the economic values associated with recreation activities. National forest staff, scientists, decisionmakers, and other clients use recreation data and analyses to inform planning, allocate resources, and evaluate the economic benefits associated with outdoor recreation. The Forest Service's National Center for Natural Resource Economics Research enlisted scientists with the agency’s Pacific Northwest Research Station to lead efforts to update data and analyze recreation economic benefits and economic activity in the U.S. The research is providing data and technical guidance of the computation of recreation economic benefits at national, regional, and individual national forest-levels. For example, economic benefits to people recreating on national forests range from $63 in the Pacific Southwest Region, to $103 in the Alaska Region. The data generated by this effort enable national forest analysts to meet their analysis, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • National Center for Natural Resource Economics Research