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National Monuments Support Local Economies

San Gabriel Mountains wilderness.

Conservation of Public Lands Creates Economic Engine That Can Be Sustained For Generations

WASHINGTON, D.C./ August 21/ Source: Joint Economic Committee / Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a series of fact sheets on the economic benefits of national monuments to their surrounding communities ahead of the Trump administration’s decision to propose removing designation in whole or in part from national monuments. The fact sheets focus on newly designated national monuments, marine national monuments, and others under review.

“From the Mariana Trench in the Pacific to the Río Grande del Norte in New Mexico, national monuments are not only a cherished part of American heritage, but a key contributor to local economies that are supported by outdoor recreation,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee. “National monuments enrich rural and remote communities in New Mexico and across the country through their continuous economic activity. Removing designation in whole or in part from national monuments, as the Trump administration has proposed, would eliminate this economic engine. I remain committed to protecting our national monuments so that our children and generations to come can enjoy their long-lasting beauty, history and legacy.”

The fact sheet series highlights that economies of Western communities adjacent to protected public lands have per capita incomes $4,360 higher than counties with no protected lands. In Nevada, one of the states in the series, outdoor recreation as a whole generates $12.6 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 87,000 direct jobs and $4 billion in wages in the state and $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Click here to view the fact sheets.

Communities in California, particularly those near national monuments, recognize the economic opportunities brought on by national monument designation.

• In California, outdoor recreation accounts for more jobs than the wine and television and film industries combined.

• Since designation in 2014, average earnings in the San Gabriel region have increased on average by $1,099 annually, greater than the decade average before designation.

• Total employment in the surrounding county has also increased over the same period—averaging 153,141 jobs annually.

• The mountains provide 30 percent of the drinking water for the 15 million people in the Los Angeles Basin and are 70 percent of the open space in the area.

• Outdoor recreation in California generates $92 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting 691,000 direct jobs, $30.4 billion in wages in the state, and $6.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.