Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to CommunitiesPosted: December 28, 2017
One-of-a-Kind Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to Communities
Continental Divide Trail Coalition surveys small businesses in four states—including Colorado—and 16 rural communities to assess trail’s economic impact. Business owners say trail users play an important role in their economic well-being
A one-of-a-kind survey of small business owners in 16 communities near the Continental Divide Trail throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming shows the trail, the public lands it travels through and the hikers that use it are a vital and growing part of the economic activity in those towns.
The survey of 71 small business owners, conducted by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC)—a nonprofit organization committed to constructing, promoting, and protecting the trail—during the fall of 2017, shows that small business owners see a strong correlation between the success and promotion of the trail and their bottom lines. The survey—the first of its kind to poll small business owners in small, often remote communities along the trail that runs from Canada to Mexico—unequivocally shows that business owners feel the trail puts their communities on the map as an outdoor recreation hub and draws trail users who spend money at restaurants, hotels, gear shops, grocery stores and other places of business in their communities:
- 77 percent of small business owners who responded to the survey say trail users spend money at their business and have had a positive impact on their business
- 88 percent say that trail users spend money in their community and have a positive impact on business in general
“The Continental Divide Trail and the hikers that use it are vital to my business. We are able to get through the winter because of the massive number of hikers coming through in the summer,” said Melanie Garr, the owner of Simple Lodge & Hostel in Salida, Colo., one of the communities surveyed. “Considering the positive impact the trail and the people who use it have on my business and our community, it is alarming to see the president roll back protections for public lands in the West. This is our livelihood and decisions like that threaten it.”
Business owners also report economic benefits since their towns gained the Continental Divide Trail Community designation from the CDTC. The designation recognizes communities that have committed to promoting and protecting the trail and providing an inviting environment for trail hikers:
- 67 percent report seeing an increase in trail users coming through their communities
- 42 percent report seeing an increase in traffic from trail users in their businesses
- 39 percent report an overall increase in business in their community
- 61 percent see an increase in awareness of their community as an outdoor recreation hub
“Small businesses keep local communities and economies thriving by providing jobs, financial stability and valuable services, and their collective activity boosts our national economy. The decision to reduce protections for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments sent shockwaves through communities that rely on public lands for their economic wellbeing,” said Teresa Martinez, executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. “Small business owners in these towns are consistent in their belief that the Continental Divide Trail stimulates the economies of their communities. Our leaders must pursue policies that help these small businesses maintain and grow a healthy bottom line by preserving and enhancing the trail and the public lands it traverses.”
The survey provides a first-hand account of what economic reports on recreation have found—such as the 2017 Outdoor Industry Association report that shows the recreation economy drives $887 billion in consumer spending every year and supports 7.6 million jobs. As the popularity of the trail increases, Martinez expects the economic impact to grow.
“We have documented an exponential increase in the number of long-distance hikers attempting to hike from one end of the trail to the other over the past four years,” Martinez said. “In the first year, we documented 50 thru-hikers. In 2017, there were more than 300. We expect the numbers to keep growing and the positive economic impact on communities to grow with them.”
Seeing the positive economic impact the trail has on their businesses, it is not surprising that the survey also reveals that small business owners in trail communities believe protecting their region’s natural assets will enhance local economies.
A vast 88 percent of small business owners say that protecting, promoting and enhancing the Continental Divide Trail is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs and their community’s economy. An overwhelming 95 percent say that protecting, promoting and enhancing public lands in general is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs, and their community’s economy.
The entrepreneurs owned a variety of businesses: 36 percent own a hotel or motel; 28 percent own a restaurant, bar or similar business; 22 percent own an outdoor clothing or gear store; 6 percent own an outdoor guide service; 4 percent own a grocery or convenience store; and 4 percent own an RV park or campground.
The vast majority of respondents are small businesses with 98 percent reporting 50 or fewer employees during the peak season. Indeed, 71 percent have 10 or fewer employees.
Click here to ready the survey report.
$70 to visit Grand Canyon? There is a 30 days comment period underway right now where the public (and that means you) can weigh in on a significant entrance fee proposal that would affect a number of national parks including Grand Canyon. See this link for details and to access the website for submitting comments. https://www.nps.gov/…/1…/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm
Will lower income and under-served populations be priced out? Shouldn’t national parks be affordable and accessible to everyone? But how do we pay for the massive maintenance backlog that exists in our national parks? Our parks belong to ALL Americans, not just those who visit them, and our administration should be boosting park budgets, not cutting them. Congress should also support the bipartisan legislation introduced specifically to address the NPS maintenance backlog — the National Parks Legacy Act (HR 2584 and SB 751) which is currently pending.
Also, please read these related blogs from our good friends at the National Parks Conservation Association:
“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”
The Coconino County Public Services Health District is working to identify how tolio is and has been affecting river runners. A survey for do-it-yourself river runners has been set up to get your feedback on this condition that can impact river runners feet and hands.
Please click on the link below and fill out the survey if you have ever had the skin affliction commonly being referred to as tolio. The purpose of this survey is to get some baseline information about how tolio has recently been affecting people.
Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DIY-tolio
For additional information, contact
Matthew Maurer, MPH, REHS
Coconino County Public Health Services District
2625 N. King Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
National Park Service News Release
Release Date: November 14, 2017
National Park Service Announces Fee Free Days for 2017
Ten More Great Reasons to Visit a National Park
WASHINGTON – Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free on one of 10 fee free days in 2017.
The ten entrance fee-free days for 2017 will be:
“National parks are known for their priceless beauty,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They are a bargain anytime but on these ten days in 2017, they really will be priceless. We want everyone to visit their national parks and the fee free days provide extra incentive to experience these amazing places.”
During the fee free days, all National Park Service sites will waive their entrance fees for all visitors. Usually, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks,. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 413 sites including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.
Last year, 307 million people visited a national park. They spent $16.9 billion which supported 295,000 jobs and had a $32 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
In addition to national parks, the National Park Service works with tribes, local governments, and partners across the country to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance Program revitalize communities, celebrate local heritage, and provide places for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.
2017 Pathways Conference presented by Colorado State University, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Rocky Mountain National ParkPosted: December 2, 2016
Pathways Conference 2017
Join us for the Pathways 2017 conference hosted by Colorado State University, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado!
Abstract due date: April 24, 2017 (Call for abstracts Dec. 1)
Mark your Calendar: September 17 – 20, 2017
Location: This year we return to the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Nestled in the outskirts of the beautiful town of Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies is surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides. This venue provides a fantastic setting with abundant wildlife viewing opportunities at your doorstep.
You only have until this Saturday, Sept 3 TODAY at 5:00 PM MT to help SAVE THE CONFLUENCE. Please SPEAK UP FOR GRAND CANYON!
Urgent Action Needed By 9/2 to Save the Confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado River in the Grand CanyonPosted: August 30, 2016
CALLING ALL CANYON & RIVER ADVOCATES — The unthinkable has happened. Legislation has been submitted within the
Navajo Nation for the Grand Canyon Escalade proposal (421 acres of development above the sacred confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, with a gondola/tramway that could bring 10,000 people down to river level PER DAY). If approved, this massive development would FOREVER CHANGE GRAND CANYON!
EVERYONE should submit comments and speak out against this terrible proposal before the deadline which is 5:00 PM this Friday, Sept 2nd!! Please spread the word far and wide through email and social media! We need YOUR help!
1. READ THIS HORRIBLE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL AT http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislations/2016/AUG/0293-16.pdf
2. SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST THIS PROPOSAL! The petition link can be found at www.savetheconfluence.com (and please encourage others to support and follow the STC Facebook page, sign up for email alerts, etc.)
3. COMMENT DIRECTLY TO THE NAVAJO NATION! You can email directly to comments or you can mail comments to: Executive Director Office of Legislative Services P.O. Box 3390 Window Rock, AZ 86515 (928) 871-7590. Comments may be made in the form of chapter resolutions, letters, position papers, etc. Please include your name, position title, address for written comments; a valid e-mail address is required. Anonymous comments will not be included in the Legislation packet.
For a 2 page summary of the proposed legislation: http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/sites/default/files/gc_Confluence_Partners_Escalade.pdf
For more information on what’s at stake: http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/stopping-grand-canyon-escalade
And also: http://savetheconfluence.com/news/proposed-grand-canyon-escalade-bill-starts-move/
The bottom line is:
· This is GRAND CANYON – one of the seven NATURAL wonders of the world. If the Navajo Nation government approves this development, the integrity of values for which Grand Canyon was created will be severely compromised and degraded FOREVER.
· The Little Colorado River corridor and its confluence with the Colorado River is culturally and spiritually significant to ALL of the affiliated tribes who hold Grand Canyon sacred.
· A fragile, delicately balanced ecosystem is at stake. Proposed development raises serious questions about water, sewage, noise, impacts to endangered species (such as the humpback chub that spawn in the Little Colorado River), dark skies and wilderness values.
Nothing less than the future of Grand Canyon is at stake. We support the tireless efforts of SAVE THE CONFLUENCE and all those who adamantly oppose this massive development. Grand Canyon River Guides’ mission statement states: “We will act whenever a canyon natural resource is threatened or the quality of the Grand Canyon experience is compromised.” STAND WITH US AND TAKE ACTION NOW!!! Canyon and river stewards unite!!
Grand Canyon River Guides