VALUING IDAHO'S PUBLIC LANDS AND OUTDOORS
Public lands are essential to the prosperity of our state. Our outdoors are an economic driver and help attract and retain businesses and employees in Idaho. IBO provides businesses with the opportunity to showcase their support for the development of effective education, research and policy that begins to measure and revalue our outdoors and public lands as vital state assets:
Idaho's outdoor recreation economy generates $7.8 billion in consumer spending and support 78,000 jobs
Our outdoors are a recruitment tool for businesses used to attract and retain workers
Medical savings and improved physical and mental health are associated with outdoor lifestyles
While scenic trails, rivers, parks, lakes and mountains are our playground, the total economic value of our outdoors remain largely unmeasured and undervalued in Idaho. Nationally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published its first report in February of 2018, showing how outdoor pursuits like skiing, biking and boating ripple through the U.S. economy. Our U.S. recreation economy accounted for 2.0 percent ($373.7 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016. This initial outdoor recreation satellite account does not measure the value of outdoor recreation by state. We need this kind of data in Idaho, as well as the engagement of a broader set of stakeholders as we try to advocate for the total value of our public lands and outdoors.
The historical lack of detailed state-specific data regarding outdoor recreational activities continues to handicap Idaho, our private and public sector, as well as our state overall. With an abundance of outdoor amenities and public lands (63%), our Idaho way of life and diverse state economy depends on our ability to maintain our lands. IBO needs your support in building a strong and diverse business voice to support research that measures the value of our outdoors in supporting investments, jobs, innovations, revenues and wellness benefits. More data helps us plan, grow, and properly fund the outdoors as a dynamic and vital part of our Idaho economy.
Please join your business name with IBO, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, as we activate research, education, advocacy and policy that will help preserve our public lands and sustain our outdoor legacy for future generations.