The Government Should Begin to Measure America’s Powerful Outdoor Economy

Center for American Progress / by Matt Lee-Ashley, Claire Moser, and Michael Madowitz

…Measuring the outdoor recreation economy is not a simple task, but there are a growing number of reliable tools that help estimate the economic benefits of healthy lands and waters. In fact, the idea of integrating environmental value into national economic accounts is not only supported by institutions such as the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but it is also important enough that these groups have developed best practices for measuring the benefits.

Calculating much of the economic activity attributable to the outdoor economy is relatively straightforward. By using the existing data currently fragmented in the national economic accounts, economists are able to aggregate consumer spending on outdoor gear, equipment, travel, hotels, and other expenses related to tourism and use of the outdoors….

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