Resources magazine issue 203 cover

March 2020  /  Issues

Issue 203: National Monuments Can Boost the Economy in the American West

Almost 70 years ago, RFF was founded on the idea that our nation must examine the supply and use of its natural resources. This legacy has led to profound areas of work at RFF that have helped pioneer new ways of thinking about the connections among humans, ecosystems, and economies—including our need to balance the protection and development of our scarce resources. In our new issue of Resources, you will hear from some of our leading experts in these areas and the novel approaches that carry RFF’s legacy forward.

  • In our cover story, RFF’s Margaret Walls, Patrick Lee, and Matthew Ashenfarb explore national monuments—those often awe-inspiring public lands preserved by presidential proclamation—in the western part of the United States. They observe what happens to local economies when a president establishes or, more recently, downsizes a national monument in the area.
  • A Resources Radio interview takes a close look at recent changes to the Endangered Species Act, including the federal government’s move to publicize the economic impacts of listing a species.
  • RFF’s Rebecca Epanchin-Niell collaborates with other experts to improve our odds of intercepting those pests. This issue tells a story about insects that hitchhike on imported plants.
  • Striking infographics submit Florida as a sobering case study for how climate change increases the risk of sea level rise and storm damage in the state.
  • RFF’s Yusuke Kuwayama propels the conversation about water resources past the atmosphere, explaining how satellite data can inform water management here on Earth.

We also touch on a couple of important milestones in history.

  • RFF’s Paul Picciano reviews the origin and evolution of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—a model that has inspired the development of similar policies around the world.
  • We are proud to include thoughts from RFF University Fellow Catherine Wolfram on women in economics, in light of Esther Duflo becoming the second woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.

More great articles—and fantastic illustrations—from Issue 203 are available below.