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The Economic Impacts of Preserving Open Space Lands

PLAN Jeffco Report - The Economic Impacts of Preserving Open Space Lands, February 2008

“This year, 2008, marks the 36th year of the Jefferson County Open Space program. With over 50,000 acres of lands preserved and hundreds of miles of trails developed, we thought it was time to reassess how the Open Space Program affects the economy of Jefferson County and answer some reoccurring questions. Does it tie up lands that are needed for development? An important question in times of reduced tax revenues and increased demand for county services. Do we continue to buy open space lands and if so, where? What role does it play in the county? Will the maintenance costs outstrip the tax revenues? To answer these and other questions, we invited a number of experts to join us in a discussion today.”

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Published by: PLAN Jeffco

Date: February 2, 2008

In February 2008, PLAN Jeffco hosted a conference to discuss the positive economic impacts resulting from the acquisition and preservation of open space lands. The Conference was sponsored by the following organizations: Jeffco Open Space Foundation, First Bank of Lakewood, Colorado Mountain Club, Clear Creek Land Conservancy (honorarium assistance), Denver Parks and Recreation, American Planning Association, League of Women Voters of Jefferson County, Jefferson County Open Space, & the Audubon Society of Greater Denver.

Conference speakers and participants included: Margot Zallen (Chair, PLAN Jeffco), Greg Stevinson (Chair, Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee), Dr. John Crompton (Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University), Dan Pike (President of Colorado Open Lands), Preston Gibson (President & CEO of Jefferson Economic Council), Amy Ito (Manager of Planning & Development, Jefferson County Open Space), John Wolforth (Planning & Zoning Director, Jefferson County).

Summary: 2008, marks the 36th year of the Jefferson County Open Space program. With over 50,000 acres of lands preserved and hundreds of miles of trails developed, we thought it was time to reassess how the Open Space Program affects the economy of Jefferson County and answer some reoccurring questions. Does it tie up lands that are needed for development? An important question in times of reduced tax revenues and increased demand for county services. Do we continue to buy open space lands and if so, where? What role does it play in the county? Will the maintenance costs outstrip the tax revenues? To answer these and other questions, we invited a number of experts to join us in a discussion today.

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"The Economic Impacts of Preserving Open Space Lands" by PLAN Jeffco



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