Investing in PNW National Forests and other public lands is a smart financial move, illustrates the Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, prepared by Earth Economics for the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. The first comprehensive analysis of Washington’s outdoor recreation economy, the study showsoutdoor recreation to be one of the cornerstones of the state's fiscal health, providing approximately 200,000 jobs and contributing $21.6 billion dollars in economic benefit.
The analysis shows the importance of National Forests to Washington, which generated $535,494 in economic benefit in 2014, more than any other federal lands in Washington. The study also demonstrates how important outdoor recreation is to rural counties, transferring economic benefits from urban centers to communities bordering on popular outdoor recreation destinations.
As the majority of outdoor recreation opportunities are on publicly owned lands like National Forests, the study helps make the case for supporting and investing in keeping them healthy and making sure the public recreation infrastructure is maintained and improved.