Economic Study Shows Job Creation Potential of North Cascades Park
Efforts to complete the original vision for the North Cascades National Park
received a major boost with the release of a report documenting the economic benefits of the
American Alps Legacy Proposal. The economic study, conducted by Power Consulting from
Montana, found that designating more park land along State Route 20 and adding new familyfriendly
attractions will create more than 1,000 new jobs in rural communities surrounding the
More than 40 years after the North Cascades National Park was created, magnificent mountains,
pristine rivers, old growth forests, and wildlife habitats adjacent to the Park remain unprotected.
“We have also failed to achieve the potential recreation and economic benefits of the North
Cascades National Park,” said former Governor and US Senator Dan Evans. Evans was a key
proponent of the North Cascades National Park more than 40 years ago and currently serves on
the American Alps Legacy Project Advisory Committee.
Swamp Creek from Methow Pass
The North Cascades National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the lower 48 states.
This wild and nearly inaccessible park receives fewer visitors than Isle Royale National Park in
the middle of Lake Superior. Combined visitation to the North Cascades National Park and the
adjacent Ross Lake National Recreation Area is still only 1/10 that of Olympic National Park.
Low visitation translates directly into low economic benefits for gateway communities.
Conservation and outdoor recreation advocates seek to add more than 300,000 acres to the park,
nearly a 50% increase. The new proposal will add low elevation, front-country lands to the park
to make it more accessible to visitors. It will also support development of new park visitor
centers in gateway communities, 25 miles of new family-friendly trails, new ecotourism sites,
expanded campgrounds, and other amenities that will attract more families to the North
Cascades. The proposal will affect only National Forest Service lands and Park Service National
Recreation Area lands. Private lands will not be converted to national park.
“The economic study clearly demonstrates that bringing the park to the people and creating new
attractions for families will dramatically increase park visitation and economic benefits for local
businesses,” said Marc Bardsley, North Cascades Conservation Council President.
You can download a copy of the Economic Study in PDF format by clicking
You can also download a copy of a list of proposed new Park visitor amenities in PDF format by clicking