Give a Business Endorsement to the GPLI

Why endorse the GPLI?

As a local business owner, your voice is critical in letting our elected officials know that protecting public lands makes good economic sense.

As a business owner, you have a unique insight into what creates jobs and makes our economy flourish. Your voice is critical in letting our elected officials know that protecting public lands in Gunnison County is essential to the health of our tourism, recreation, and ranching-driven economy. By signing the GPLI’s business endorsement, you are supporting the protection of the public lands that bring thousands of tourists to our valley to spend money in our stores, hotels, and restaurants; the backcountry recreation that attracts a high quality workforce to our valley; and the scenic beauty, clean water, and healthy wildlife that provide a high quality of life for residents in Gunnison County. 

More than 70 Gunnison County businesses have endorsed GPLI. 

Did you know...

-       Western, non-metro counties with more than 30% of their federal lands protected saw the economy grow by 345% from 1970-2010, while the economy of similar counties with no protected federal lands only grew by 83%? Headwaters Economics 2012

-       Tourism generates more than $10.9 billion annually for Colorado’s economy and supports more than 140,000 jobs. More than 65% of tourists come to Colorado primarily for activities that involve the natural environment. Sonoran Institute 2011

-       In 2010, per capita income in western non-metropolitan counties with 100,000 acres of protected public lands is on average $4,360 higher than per capita income in similar counties with no protected public lands. Headwaters Economics 2012

-       Protected public lands help draw in and retain talented workers, entrepreneurs, and companies who choose to live and work in places with outdoor recreation and natural landscapes. Headwaters Economics 2012


GPLI's Business Endorsement

As business owners who live and work in Gunnison County, we recognize the crucial role that protected public lands play in the vibrancy of our local economy. Our tourist-based economy is dependent upon our high-quality surrounding public lands that provide some of the best hunting, angling, motorized recreation, skiing, mountain biking, as well as wildlife and wildflower viewing in the country. 

Our ease of access to healthy rivers, pristine mountains, large networks of backcountry trails, and diverse wildlife habitats are why many people choose to live to Gunnison County. It is also why many of us chose to start businesses here and why people visit in ever-growing numbers. 

According to a recent study in The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, the more protected public lands in a county, the higher the employment rate, population growth and per capita income. In addition, 15 percent of the per capita income in our county is attributed directly to protected public lands [1]. Protected public lands also increase the ability to recruit entrepreneurs, attract skilled workforce across a range of industries, and retain higher rates of job growth by attracting well-educated, skilled workers who want the high quality of life that comes from being surrounded by healthy public lands [2]

As small business owners who represent a wide range of interests, we sincerely thank Senator Bennet for working with the local community to explore long-term lands protection for Gunnison County and urge Rep. Tipton and Senator Gardner to support the effort. We appreciate your foresight and recognition of the undeniable connection between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. When the time comes, we will work to support the passage of legislation that will help conserve land, preserve our communities’ character and quality of life and thus ensure a flourishing, rural-mountain economy.

 

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