Studies & Reports

2020 – PA Wilds Center Releases White Paper on COVID-19 Impacts

White Paper on the Early Impacts of COVID-19 on the rural Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative

PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. released its White Paper on the Early Impacts of COVID-19 on the rural Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative in May 2020 to state partners, the region’s county commissioners, state and federal legislators, PREP Network, DMOs and other stakeholder networks. Read the white paper.

The rural Pennsylvania Wilds region (PA Wilds) has taken a huge economic blow to its tourism industry because of the novel coronavirus…. But changing travel trends and positive public sentiment toward many of the core tenets of the PA Wilds strategy — supporting local businesses, the value of the outdoor experience and public lands, stewardship of the environment, creative partnerships — mean the PA Wilds will be in a position to make a strong tourism recovery once the crisis passes. By redoubling our efforts now, partners involved in the PA Wilds can help the region’s communities leverage this moment for a better and more sustainable tomorrow.

Ta Enos, Founder + CEO, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.


2020 – PA Wilds as a Model for Conservation Landscapes

PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) “Pennsylvania Conservation Landscapes – Models for Successful Collaboration”

Conservation Landscape ReportThe report, which points to the growing outdoor recreation industry and strategic investments in public lands and facilities in the Pennsylvania Wilds, positions the region as a model for how the Conservation Landscape program is gaining traction and creating real value for communities. See the report.

The Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Landscape (PAWCL) is one of the most ambitious landscape-level initiatives in the United States. This highly impactful practice is most evident in the Pennsylvania Wilds conservation landscape, a very rural place with more public land than anywhere in the state.

PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


2019 – PA Wilds Economic Impact National Reports

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) “Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia”

10 Case Studies in Economic Resilience – PA Wilds & McKean County, Pennsylvania – moving multiple sectors forward for economic development. See the report.

McKean County benefits from the coordinated Pennsylvania Wilds effort, which includes regional planning, community character and natural resource stewardship, public and private investments, operation of a regional value chain of local products and services tied to the regional brand, and a successful marketing campaign.

ARC Case Studies in Economic Resilience

National Governors Association Report “Rural Prosperity through the Arts & Creative Sector” See the report.

The northwest region of Pennsylvania includes a rural region known as the “Pennsylvania Wilds.” In that region, the Wild’s Cooperative of Pennsylvania
is a program of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship. The Wilds Cooperative is working to develop tourism to increase the exposure of the local artisans.

Rural Prosperity Through the Arts & Creative Sector Report


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s 2016 Arts and Cultural Production report: $23 billion is added to Pennsylvania’s economy from the arts sector, 175,000 are working in the arts, and $11.2 billion is earned by these producers. See report.


An Overlooked Economic Giant – Outdoor Recreation is Big Business: Each year, Americans spend $887 billion on outdoor recreation.

Outdoor Industry Association

Pennsylvania – 5th in the Nation in Outdoor Recreation Consumer Spending

  • The Outdoor Industry Association examined the impact of spending on outdoor recreation in 2017. In Pennsylvania, outdoor recreation generates $29.1 billion in consumer spending, $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, $8.6 billion in wages and salaries, and sustains 251,000 direct Pennsylvania jobs.
  • In 2017, Pennsylvania ranked 5th in the nation for spending on outdoor recreation. The OIA went on to report that 56% of Pennsylvania residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.

Communities across Pennsylvania recognize that outdoor recreation supports, contributes to a high quality of life and—perhaps most importantly—attracts and sustains employers and families. Investing in outdoor infrastructure attracts employers and active workforces, ensuring those communities thrive economically and socially.

Download the Outdoor Recreation Economy 2017 Report

Outdoor Recreation Economy 2017 Report


Travel Mindsets Amidst COVID-19 Survey Results (Wave 1)


The annual Economic Impact of Pennsylvania’s Travel and Tourism Industry report by Tourism Economics provides state, regional (including the Pennsylvania Wilds), and county level estimates that demonstrate the vital importance of the travel industry to Pennsylvania’s economy.

Visitors currently spend an estimated $1.8 billion annually in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

2018 Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism in Pennsylvania

Travelers spent more than $1.8 billion in the Pennsylvania Wilds region in 2018 – a 2.2% increase from 2017 and new record high.

Tourism Economics

2011 Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism in Pennsylvania

ROI Study on PA Wilds Region (2012)



PA Wilds Impact Report (2010)



National Studies

Early Studies on the Pennsylvania Wilds