The Nature-Based Restorative Economy in Santa Cruz County, 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 ultimately provide the underpinnings for human life. They also 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 used can either build or degrade the natural resource base within a region and positively or negatively affect the regional economy. This study examines industries within the nature-based restorative economy (NBRE) in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. Within the context of Santa Cruz County’s economy, 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. In addition to quantifying the total contributions of the NBRE to the county economy, this study provides a socioeconomic and natural resource profile for Santa Cruz County and presents the results of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to better understand and predict the medium- and long-term outlooks for the NBRE in the region.


Dari Duval, Ashley Bickel, George Frisvold, Wenting Zheng

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