The “Restoration Means Jobs” report demonstrated significant economic activity attributed to restoration activities in the region. One way to enhance economic benefit for the local workforce would be to create a more predictable and consistent program of work. This could be accomplished through better and more regular communication between entities that sponsor restoration projects, as well as external communication with business interests about forecasted projects.
The Valley County Economic Development Council will host a restoration summit in the West Central Mountains Region to accomplish the following:
- Adopt a common economic tracking template for restoration activity impacts.
- Help local contractors better comprehend the forecasted work, project budgets, locations and timelines – all critical business planning information.
Laws that protect air and water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat have created a new playing field for many natural resource related businesses. Wildfires are playing a more significant role in rapid, landscape level changes to forests and rangelands. The economics of mining and logging have declined sharply, and scrutiny of public lands grazing has intensified. Recreation in the West Central Mountains Region includes a stunning array of activities.
All of these natural resource related industries will be affected by US Forest Service and BLM land use management plan revisions. This project’s intention of providing an area-specific guide to community engagement in these federal land use planning processes – especially when it comes to economic and business interests – is the kind of technical assistance these rural communities will get nowhere else, and it may prove to be the kind of assistance that creates expanded business opportunities and saves livelihoods.
For more information on the Forest Restoration Summit, or to be a part of this initiative, please email: