New Economic Impact Study Proves Benefits of Nature and Restoration Economy in Southern Arizona

Nature and the resources and benefits it provides are key inputs to production processes that stimulate economic growth. They enhance quality-of-life and contribute to the health of regional economies through ‘nature-based’ industries that depend on them, supporting jobs, income, and economic development. At the same time, how these natural resources are managed can either build or degrade the natural resource base within a region, and positively or negatively affect the regional economy.

With support from a broad coalition of stakeholders, the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently completed a study to examine industries within the nature-based restorative economy (NBRE) in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The NBRE consists of three general areas: nature-based tourism, nature-based industries, and conservation, restoration, and preservation. This study characterizes and quantifies the total economic contribution of the NBRE in Santa Cruz County in 2019, including economic activity supported in other industries through indirect and induced multiplier effects.

The study found that in 2019, the NBRE directly supported 779 jobs, $31.1 million to the county’s gross domestic product, and $776 million in sales. When factoring in multiplier effects, the NBRE supported $53.8 million in GDP, provided 1,200 jobs and $41.2 million labor income, accounted for $121.7 million in sales, and generated $4.7 million in state and local tax revenues.

Read the Executive Summary and the full report online here.