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Archive for May, 2012

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“Conserving Lands and Prosperity: Seeking a Proper Balance Between Conservation and Development in the Rocky Mountain West,” a new report by Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, explores the economic benefits of public lands adjacent to rural communities.

Public lands in the Rocky Mountain West are valued for the natural resources that provide fuel, building materials and other commodities and generate jobs and revenue. Yet public lands also are prized for outdoor opportunities, including hunting and angling, and are a magnet for tourists, retirees, businesses and professionals in search of a high quality of life.

Highlights from the report, prepared by Southwick Associates, include the following:

· Counties with a higher percentage of public lands managed for conservation and recreation have higher levels of job and population growth than those with higher percentages of lands managed for commodity production.
· From 1969 to 2009, counties with the highest percentages of lands managed for conservation had higher per-capita income growth rates compared to counties with higher percentages of lands managed for resource development.
· In 2009, the average per-capita income in counties where public lands were managed for conservation and recreation was about $38,000. It was approximately $30,000 in counties where public lands were intensively managed for natural resource extraction.

A case study in the report focuses on Cody, Wyo., a community surrounded by public lands that owes about 10 percent of its jobs to direct spending on fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing.

Join sportsman-conservationist leaders, business owners and Southwick Associates to discuss the report’s findings, including development that conserves the Rocky Mountain West’s renewable resources and secures the region’s economic future.

Speakers to include:
– Brad Powell, energy director, Trout Unlimited
– Rob Southwick, president, Southwick Associates
– Tim Wade, owner, North Fork Anglers, Cody, Wyo., and former Cody County commissioner
– Mike Darby, owner, Irma Hotel, Cody, Wyo., and president, Cody Chamber of Commerce
– Jim Lyon, vice president of conservation policy, National Wildlife Federation

Moderator: Katie McKalip, director of media relations, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

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