[Abstract] In a new research series, Headwaters Economics assesses the economic performance of local communities adjacent to national monuments in the West.
Headwaters Economics analyzed the economies surrounding the 17 national monuments in the eleven western continental states that are larger than 10,000 acres and were created in 1982 or later. This sample avoids smaller monuments with little potential to have an impact on local economies, and allows us to analyze economic indicators before and after designation using reliable measures of economic performance.
The analysis found that the local economies surrounding all 17 of the national monuments grew following the creation of new national monuments. While this does not demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship, this finding shows that national monuments are consistent with economic growth in adjacent local communities.
Trends in important economic indicators—such as population, employment, personal income, and per-capita income growth—either continued or improved in each of the regions surrounding the national monuments studied. The analysis found no evidence that designating these national monuments prevented continued economic growth. [H/T: E&E NewsPM, sub. req'd]