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Latest Center News

 

Rural America: It’s Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, and widely believed, narratives about rural America.

The narrative in the national media is a fatalist one. Rural places are dying. The people are leaving.

This narrative has roots in the farm crisis. It lives on strong at the Brookings Institute and on the pages of The New York Times. It is fueled by demographic trends that show decades of population decline across many areas of the nation.

Conservation Helps Build Tourism Dollars in Western States

Small towns and rural communities depend on recreation and tourism for large parts of their economy. This was obvious to me growing up. I’m from Wisconsin, where the summer tourism industry depends so heavily on student labor, public schools and universities can’t even start before September 1.

Western states also depend on recreation and tourism. Visitors to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sagebrush landscapes spent an estimated $1 billion last year, according to a recent study.

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