Measuring the Economic Impact of Frontcountry Recreation in Rural Communities
- To better manage, plan, and fund outdoor recreation, we need to measure it more accurately. Without good data, it’s difficult to make a case for investments in outdoor recreation.
- WLP has leveraged trail use data and an economic impact study of the Whitefish Trail to increase funding, guide management, and plan for the future.
- Data has influenced WLP’s outreach and messaging to engage the community in a new and exciting way.
- New methods to count recreation will give communities and agencies the ability to measure the impact of recreation and advocate for resources.
Owner/Founder @ Montana Access Project
Megan Lawson - Economist, Headwaters Economics
Megan leads Headwaters Economics' research in outdoor recreation, public lands, economic development, and demographics. She is an economist, and uses economic and demographic analysis to better understand the issues communities face. She holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Williams College.
Heidi Van Everen - Executive Director, WLP
Over the past decade under Heidi's leadership, Whitefish Legacy Partners has proven to be a leader in community-based conservation and has successfully launched the Whitefish Trail project now consisting of 43 miles of trail and 14 trailheads. Since 2011, Heidi has been working as the Executive Director, growing the organization, and developing strong public-private partnerships to support conservation, recreation, education and community stewardship in Whitefish and throughout the Flathead Valley.
Alan Myers-Davis - Director of Development, WLP
As Director of Development, Alan builds relationships with donors, foundations, partners, and grantors to leverage critical dollars and support for WLP’s ambitious conservation and recreation projects. He also inspires broad community engagement through outreach channels and events such as the Whitefish Trail Hootenanny and Legacy Run.