Estimating Economic Activity and Impacts of Urban Forestry in California with Multiple Data Sources from the Early 1990s
Scott R. Templeton and George Goldman
Abstract: Urban forests provide tree products and aesthetic, recreational, health, and environmental benefits. Yet the expenditures that people make to secure these benefits are difficult to estimate for lack of comprehensive published data. Based on various sources of data, we estimate that Californians spent at least $947 million to obtain these benefits and the state's urban forestry "sector" had sales of at least $1,115 billion in a 12-month period in the early 1990s. As a result of direct, indirect, and induced effects, urban forestry accounted for at least $3,384 billion in total sales. This level of sales became about $1,869 billion in annual income to individuals and supported about 57,200 jobs in this period within the state. Knowledge of this economic activity is important, in principle, to voters and public decision-makers who allocate human resources, tax revenue, and water for the management of community forests and other natural resources in California.