Encouraged by federal programs and philanthropic initiatives, many rural and Native nation communities are turning to outdoor recreation as a primary economic strategy. However, the sector has a history of inequitable outcomes and can put unsustainable pressure on local systems and resources.
As new rural outdoor recreation economies take root, we can meet this moment by improving how we do outdoor recreation development to better support rural families, businesses, and workers, create more sustainable and equitable economic systems, and improve local health and wellbeing.
Aspen CSG recently convened 27 rural economic and community development practitioners from a diverse range of communities to inform Mapping a New Terrain: A Call to Action. Through this process, Aspen CSG identified five principles to improve health and economic outcomes for rural communities and Native nations — as well as actionable steps to achieve these principles.