NATURE IS ONE OF PERRY COUNTY’S MAJOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES FOR FUTURE ECONOMIC GROWTH.
The forested hills, streams, and scenic views provided by Perry County’s open spaces have been a major part of its residents’ natural heritage, culture, and pride since the area was settled almost 300 years ago. Perry County’s open space supplies communities with sparkling-clean drinking water, flood protection, pollination, critical wildlife habitats, and impressive recreational and tourism opportunities. Outdoor recreation activities—such as hunting, fishing, and hiking—attract thousands of visitors annually and play an important role in residents’ quality of life, especially during tough economic times.
More than just pretty places, Perry County’s forested ridges and stream valleys are productive assets that generate over $900 million annually in avoided costs for natural system services and air pollution removal, reduced healthcare costs, revenues from outdoor recreation and local and state taxes, and increased tax revenues from real estate premiums. In short, nature is the foundation for all of life and the economy.
Stormwater, flooding, forest fragmentation, invasive plants, and air and water pollution are long-standing issues in Perry County. Determining a dollar value for nature’s services explains their financial value in easy-to-understand terms. This increases the ability of policymakers, businesses, and residents to solve established environmental problems. It also explains the financial significance and connection of nature to Perry County’s economy and culture.
The biggest challenge facing Perry County is promoting sustainable economic growth while maintaining a high quality of life, low cost of living, good health, and the unique sense of place that has been the region’s hallmark for hundreds of years. The careful protection, management, and use of natural resources are essential to the long-term sustainability of nature and the local and regional economies.
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE HOW PERRY COUNTY’S NATURAL ASSETS ARE ESSENTIAL TO OUR EVERYDAY LIFE.