The economic benefits of conserved lands, trails, and parks on the North Olympic Peninsula

The economic benefits of conserved lands, trails, and parks on the North Olympic PeninsulaPhoto credit: Kari Pierce

The North Olympic Peninsula is a vibrant place, with a rich history of cultural and traditional life, amazing wildlife corridors for eagles and elk, world class recreation, locally owned family farms, and traditional forestry jobs that inject life into local towns. Conserving farms, forests, trails, and parks ensures these communities are healthy and flourishing. This report analyzes the economic value of the conserved farms, forests, trails, and parks in the North Olympic Peninsula, which for the purposes of this report includes Jefferson, Clallam, and Kitsap Counties.

The study documents a selection of the significant economic benefits that they provide to the community. This analysis includes a tapestry of conserved lands, trails, and parks that have been protected by land trusts, federal and state agencies, tribal governments, and local park departments in the region. These spaces bolster the farming, forest, and fishing industries, boost economic development, improve water quality, increase property values, reduce air pollution, enhance community health, provide recreational opportunities, and attract visitors. 

Conserved farms, forests, trails, and parks support local jobs, increase spending at local businesses, save residents money through reduced health care costs from improved air quality, reduce costs to local governments, and generate local tax revenue.