Land conservation leads to job growth

The Greenfield Recorder
By Dusty Christensen
April 14, 2019

AMHERST — In a first-of-its-kind study, a group of Massachusetts researchers — including an economics professor from Amherst College — have found land conservation in New England leads to job growth.

The study, published in the journal Conservation Biology late last month, estimates the economic impacts of conserving land by looking at 1,500 cities and towns in the region from 1990 through 2015. The report’s conclusions challenge beliefs among some that conservation hurts economic growth by keeping land from being developed or used for natural resources.

“The study analyzed how increased land protection at the local level … affected employment and some other economic indicators,” Katharine Sims, the Amherst economics professor, explained. The researchers found that land conservation boosts local economies. “I think overall it suggests that the factors on the positive side are outweighing some of those possible costs.”

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