National and community market contributions of Wilderness


Wilderness attracts tourists and generates visitor spending in proximate communities as people enjoy Wilderness for outdoor recreation. Wilderness also attracts amenity migrants and out-of-region investments into surrounding regional economies. To investigate the amount and types of employment and income generated by Wilderness visitation, we conducted an economic contribution analysis of aggregate national visitor expenditures. The U.S. Forest Service National Visitor Use and Monitoring (NVUM) economic spending profiles were used to construct types and amounts of Wilderness visitor spending and were applied to an estimated 9.9 million annual visitors across federal agencies. IMPLAN modeling software was used to estimate total effects and multipliers for output, employment, income, and value added. Results show that some $500 million is annually spent in communities adjacent to Wilderness, generating a direct effect of 5,700 jobs and a total output effect over $700 million across numerous industries ($2012 including indirect and induced effects).

  • Citation: Hjerpe, Evan; Holmes, Tom; White, Eric 2017. National and community market contributions of wilderness. Society & Natural Resources. 30(3): 265-280.  16 p. DOI:10.1080/08941920.2016.1196280
  • Keywords: Amenity migration, economic contribution analysis, recreation, economics, wilderness
  • Posted Date: February 17, 2017
  • Modified Date: April 20, 2017
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