National Monuments support local economies (a lot more than mining and drilling)

  • Published on September 1st, 2017

United States national monuments are a cherished aspect of American heritage, and a key contributor to local economies. National monuments attract visitors, support jobs, and drive economic growth in communities across the country. Rural and remote economies in particular benefit from proximity to national monuments. Rescinding national monument designations, as President Trump is considering, would both jeopardize our natural resources and harm nearby communities.

By Senator Martin Heinrich
Joint Economic Committee Democrats

Removing designation, in whole or in part, from these national monuments leaves these unique areas vulnerable to irreversible commercial development. These national monuments attract tourism and recreation dollars because they represent unique and irreplaceable landscapes.

Background: GOP: eliminate 10 national monuments & shrink 13 more

Conservation of these lands creates an economic engine that can be sustained for generations, enriching rural communities through continuous economic activity.

National monument designation creates a competitive advantage – communities with protected federal public lands generally see faster job growth and higher wages than those without public lands.

Counties with at least 100,000 acres of protected public lands have per capita incomes $4,360 higher than counties with no protected lands, on average.

Gold Butte, Basin and Range, Nevada Gold Butte National Monument, Utah

• In Nevada, outdoor recreation accounts for three times the number of jobs as mining.
• Outdoor recreation in Nevada generates $12.6 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 87,000 direct jobs, $4 billion in wages in the state, and $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Bears Ears, Utah Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

• In Utah, outdoor recreation accounts for more than twice the number of jobs as mining and energy combined.
• Outdoor recreation in Utah generates $12.3 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 110,000 direct jobs, $3.9 billion in wages in the state, and $737 million in state and local tax revenue.

Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah

• Since designation in 1996, average earnings in the Grand Staircase-Escalante region have increased on average by $277 annually, greater than the five year average before designation.
• Total employment in surrounding counties has also increased over the same period — averaging 121 jobs annually.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Grand Staircase-Escalante region have grown by 42 percent with travel and tourism making up 44 percent of total private employment in 2015.

baryessa snow mountain national monument, California Snow Mountain, Carrizo Plain, Mojave Trails, California

• In California, outdoor recreation accounts for more jobs than the wine and television and film industries combined.
• Outdoor recreation in California generates $92 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 691,000 direct jobs, $30.4 billion in wages in the state, and $6.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Giant Sequoia, California

• Since designation in 2000, average earnings in the Giant Sequoia region have increased on average by $625 annually, greater than the five year average before designation.
• Total employment in surrounding counties has also increased over the same period — averaging 13,167 jobs annually.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Giant Sequoia region have grown by 35 percent with travel and
tourism making up 16 percent of total private employment in 2015.

San Gabriel Mountains, California

• Since designation in 2014, average earnings in the San Gabriel region have increased on average by $1,099 annually, greater than the decade average before designation.
• Total employment in the surrounding county has also increased over the same period — averaging 153,141 jobs annually.
• The mountains provide 30 percent of the drinking water for the 15 million people in the Los Angeles Basin and are 70 percent of the open space in the area.

CascadeCascade-Siskiyou national monument, California and Oregon-Siskiyou, California and Oregon

• In Oregon, outdoor recreation provides nearly three times more the jobs in the state than the wood products industry.
• Since designation in 2000, total employment in surrounding counties has increased — averaging 1,044 jobs annually.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Cascade-Siskiyou Oregon region have grown by 21 percent with travel and tourism making up 19 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in California and Oregon generate $108.4 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 863,000 direct jobs, $35.5 billion in wages, and $6.95 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Ironwood Forest, ArizonaIronwood Forest National Monument, NM

• In Arizona, outdoor recreation accounts for more jobs than defense, technology, and aerospace combined.1
• Since designation in 2000, total employment in surrounding counties has increased—averaging 7,184 jobs annually, greater than the five year average before designation.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Ironwood Forest region have grown by 25 percent with travel and tourism making up 20 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in Arizona generates $21.2 billion in consumer spending annually supporting 201,000 direct jobs, $5.7 billion in wages in the state, and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Sonoran Desert, Arizona Sonoran Desert National Monument

• Since designation in 2001, total employment in surrounding counties has increased—averaging 39,511 jobs annually.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Sonoran Desert region have grown by 41 percent with travel and tourism making up 18 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in Arizona generates $21.2 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 201,000 direct jobs and $5.7 billion in wages in the state and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Vermilion Cliffs National MonumentVermilion Cliffs, Arizona

• In Arizona, outdoor recreation accounts for more jobs than defense, technology, and aerospace combined.
• Since designation in 2000, average earnings in the Vermilion Cliffs region have increased on average by $399 annually, greater than the five year average prior to designation.
• Total employment in the surrounding county has also increased over the same period—averaging 1,036 jobs annually.
• Since 2001, service jobs in the Vermilion Cliffs Desert region have grown by 23 percent with travel and tourism making up 35 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in Arizona generates $21.2 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 201,000 direct jobs, $5.7 billion in wages in the state, and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Katahdin WKatahdin Woods and Water national Monument, Maineoods and Waters, Maine

• In Maine, recreational watersports spending accounts for nearly twice the state’s total value of commercial seafood.
• Outdoor recreation in Maine generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 76,000 direct jobs, $2.2 billion in wages in the state, and $548 million in state and local tax revenue.

Mariana Trench National MonumentMariana Trench

• Local education, recreation, research, tourism, and fishing industries, which rely on healthy ocean resources, benefit from the protection provided by marine sanctuaries and monuments.
• Estimates of global ecosystems show the marine national monuments and sanctuaries under review could provide at least $440 billion in benefits.
• The Mariana Trench is home to over 95,216 square miles of submerged lands and water, with the deepest place on Earth located here.

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks national Monument, NMOrgan Mountains-Desert Peaks, New Mexico

• In New Mexico, outdoor recreation accounts for more than twice the number of jobs as energy and mining combined.1
• Since designation in 2014, total employment in the surrounding county has increased—averaging 611 jobs annually.
• In the region, travel and tourism accounted for 19 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in New Mexico generates $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 99,000 direct jobs, $2.8 billion in wages in the state, and $623 million in state and local tax revenue.

Rio Grande Del Norte, NMRio Grande del Norte, New Mexico

• Since designation in 2013, total employment in the surrounding county has increased—averaging 214 jobs annually, greater than the decade average before designation.
• In the region, travel and tourism accounted for 39 percent of total private employment in 2015.
• Outdoor recreation in New Mexico generates $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 99,000 direct jobs, $2.8 billion in wages in the state, and $623 million in state and local tax revenue.

(This White Paper by the Democrats of the Joint Economic Committee, US Senate was prepared in response to President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s plans to review 23 National Monuments for elimination or reduction. Full Executive Summary of Zinke’s preliminary conclusions is available here.)

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