Your reasons to support forest, park, and trail protection are likely very personal to you:
- You like to get outdoors to walk, run, or ride on recreational lands;
- You like wildlife and know that forested habitats provide them with homes;
- You would rather have a forest, park, or trail in your neighborhood than another home or development;
- You want to ensure that your private or public forest lands will be enjoyed by future generations; and/or
- You like clean water and air, and know the important role of forests in supporting those and other ecosystem benefits.
However, you may also find that information about the economic benefits of protecting forests, parks, and trails will help as you speak with Legislators, local decision-makers, or those who may be skeptical or undecided about why conservation is worthy of ongoing investment. The following should help:
- This 2011 UConn economic study quantifies over $1 billion in annual revenue benefits, and support for over 9,000 jobs in Connecticut thanks to your State Parks and public lands (for every $1 spent on Parks, the state receives $38 in return);
- This 2015 report by the New England State Foresters presents the economic benefits of Connecticut’s forests (both public and private);
- This 2017 study by the Outdoor Industry Association quantifies enormous economic benefits of outdoor recreation in Connecticut, some of which we quote in the effort to reauthorize bonding for the CT Recreational Trails & Greenways program;
- Our friends at American Trails provide online case studies compiled over time on the economic benefits of recreational trails and greenways;
- A chapter on the Benefits of Trees including ecosystem, economic, and other benefits (excerpted from the 2012 State Vegetation Management Task Force report); and
- Although it is not an economic study, the 2017-2022 SCORP (State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan) provides great survey data on the public demand for outdoor recreation in Connecticut.
If you are aware of other reports that also provide compelling information on the economic benefits of forests, parks, and trails, please reach out to Eric Hammerling via firstname.lastname@example.org.