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Category: General Publications

Title: Ecological Restoration as Economic Stimulus: A Regional Analysis

Author: Kim, Yeon-Su

Subject: Economics, Ecological Restoration, Green Jobs, IMPLAN

Abstract: In this study I assessed the potential economic impacts of planned and proposed restoration treatments on four national forests in northern Arizona to help land managers and community leaders understand the social and economic development opportunities that can be leveraged through ecological restoration projects. I estimated potential economic impacts that can result from implementing two collaboratively developed treatment scenarios as well as from treating those acres that have already undergone the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance process (i.e., NEPA-ready acres). The results from Input-Output modeling and an IMPLAN analysis indicate that treating the NEPA-ready acres can generate $273 million of outputs, $146 million of labor income, and about 3,000 jobs. Restorative mechanical thinning treatments create slightly more jobs per dollar invested than prescribed burning treatments (16.0 compared to 13.6 jobs per million dollars of federal spending). The largest treatment scenario (mechanically treating 1.7 million acres) would cost about $1 billion at the current rate, but generate more than $1.3 billion of total output, $518 million of labor income, and 14,820 jobs to local economies. These results do not include potentially significant economic advantages from using woody biomass generated by mechanical thinning treatments. In addition to ecological and energy benefits, ecological restoration treatments can create sustainable, “green collar” jobs in rural communities of the Southwest and generate social and economic benefits. To be sustainable, planning for ecological restoration should include qualitative and quantitative monitoring of social and economic conditions, in addition to ecological outcomes of the treatments. This study provides baseline information for such monitoring efforts.

Date: 2010

Type: ERI White papers

Source: ERI - Issues in Forest Restoration

Identifier: 20p.

Publisher: Ecological Restoration Institute/NAU

Format: PDF

Language: English