Economic Impact Survey

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA), in partnership with the Methow Conservancy, conducted a comprehensive analysis of the range and value of economic impacts related to MVSTA trails, protected open space, and associated recreational activities in the Methow Valley. The economic analysis, performed during the winter of 2005 (by Resource Dimensions) randomly surveyed three groups: Methow Valley residents, trail users (local and non-local), and area businesses, with an impressive overall return rate of 46%.

It is clear from this study that trails and open space go hand-in-hand, and that these assets are highly valued by Methow Valley residents, visitors and businesses alike. Several key messages from the report stood out to us:

Key Points About Natural Resources of the Valley:

  • Protecting land is good for the economy--land within half a mile of natural amenities is worth (on average) 11.52% more per acre.

  • Residents and visitors feel strongly that the Valley needs protecting-- 92.7% of all respondents felt it was either "very important" or "important" to preserve the area's natural beauty and open space.

  • Residents and visitors favor voluntary land protection methods-- respondents ranked the top four methods as: 1) voluntary land protection; 2) acquisition of conservation easements; 3) environmental education; and 4) purchase of land by a local nonprofit organization.

    If you would like to read a copy of the Executive Summary prepared for the Methow Conservancy, please click here.

315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870