Economic & health benefits study identifies Salmonberry Trail values

Economic & health benefits study identifies Salmonberry Trail values

A preliminary look into the economic and health benefits of the proposed Salmonberry Trail has identified significant potential value in each category. 

The study reviews recreation trends and similar trails in the Pacific Northwest and estimates annual trail use at 260,000 visitors per year. Based on this visitation level, researchers used economic models to establish that the trail represents a $17 million per year value to the region.

Researchers also examined how the availability of new trails can increase physical activity opportunities for nearby residents. They used several models that correlate increased physical activity with avoided health care costs and calculated the potential health benefit and savings for nearby communities who use the trail at more than $400,000 annually.

Economic analysis work is still underway to establish estimates of direct economic activity for the region. The full report will be posted to salmonberrytrail.org once complete. The study is being funded by a grant from the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and prepared by researchers at Portland State University in cooperation with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the US Forest Service and Oregon State University.