STUDY: Protected land equals jobs

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Sat Sep 9 14:17:22 EST 2000

>From The Oregonian, Sept. 8, 2000, p D4

STUDY: Protected land equals jobs


	Bolstering an argument conservationists have made for decades, a
study released Thursday suggests that protecting public lands as parks,
national monuments and wilderness areas can benefit local economies.

	The $20,000 study, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund and the
Oregon Natural Resources Council, examined economic data from 1969 to
1997 from 410 countries in 11 Western states. It includes an in-depth
look at nine rural Oregon counties.

	"The more wilderness you have, the more environmental protections
you have, the more jobs you have," said Paul Lorah, professor of
geography at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., a co-author
of the report.
	Tourism, high-tech and the service sector created more jobs, Lorah
	Researchers found that rural counties with more than 10 percent of
their federal land protected saw employment grow 1.85 times faster than
the average nonmetropolitan county. Employment growth in rural counties
with U.S. Forest Service roadless areas covering more than 10 percent of
their land was 1.25 times faster than the average.
	Art Ayre, an employment economist for the Oregon Department of
Employment, said he would be cautious about interpreting the study's
findings. "There's certainly more analysis that I'd like to see before
I'd feel comfortable with the conclusions," Ayre said.
	But Chris West of the Northwest Forestry Association described the
findings as "voodoo economics" that are unsupported by the facts.

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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