A report titled “Quiet Recreation on BLM-Managed Lands in Southwest Utah” found that non-motorized (quiet) recreation activities like camping, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing on public lands are a significant economic driver in local communities near where the recreation activities take place.
The report, issued by the independent firm ECONorthwest, shows that in 2015 the 364,000 quiet recreation visits to southwest Utah Bureau of Land Management lands generated $17.4 million in direct spending within 50 miles of the recreation sites. The report found that 204 Utah jobs are supported locally as a result of quiet recreation visits to BLM land.
The report comes as the BLM updates its resource management plan for the Cedar City region. The BLM’s Cedar City field office in southern Utah oversees 2.1 million acres of public land within Iron and Beaver Counties. The report is the first ever to quantify both the amount of quiet recreation and the spending associated with quiet recreation specifically on BLM lands in this region of southern Utah.
“This report reaffirms the impact of outdoor recreation as an economic driver in Cedar City and throughout the state,” said Tom Adams, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation. “Although this study looks at just one part of Utah, the numbers validate the work we have done statewide. Collaborating with local, state and federal land managers, we have created world-class outdoor recreation opportunities for Utah residents and visitors from around the world. Recreation opportunities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and biking help diversify our economy and improve our quality of life.”
Researchers calculated the local economic contribution (jobs and income) generated by spending visitors who engaged in “quiet” recreation on BLM lands in the Cedar City field office. They based their calculations on 2015 visitation data from the BLM and spending data from the National Visitor Use Monitoring program. The study was commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts.