Tourism gold

Jobs created by development of nonrenewable energy sources including coal, oil and gas are subject to a bust-and-boom cycle and eventually and inevitably will disappear permanently, leaving behind damaged ecosystems that could take centuries to restore. Jobs created by outdoor recreation can be sustained indefinitely.

According to the Headwaters Economics study, while population has increased by just 8 percent in Garfield and Kane counties, where Grand Staircase is located, jobs have grown 38 percent and real personal income 40 percent.

And that’s just one example. The study found the same sort of economic boost at 17 communities where national monuments were designated during the past 20 years.

… Protected natural treasures are gold mines of another, more lasting, form.