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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association

Studies Reveal Economic Impacts of

Itasca County Lakes


Extensive review of research on the economic value of lakes is summarized below featuring the top 10 items.





1)  Protecting lakes and encouraging economic growth are compatible.


2)     Research in 1996 to 2003 in Minnesota, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire shows that market values of shoreland property are greater when water clarity is greater. As water clarity decreases, market values decrease.


3)  University of Wisconsin researchers reported in 2004 that lakeshore is more valuable when protected from degradation by legislated restrictions.


4)  The Minnesota Office of Tourism has reported a method for estimating income from lakes in Minnesota that have a sustainable fishery.


5)      Estimates are that 16.5 jobs are generated per each 1,000 acres of fishable water.


6)  Direct consumer purchases, including groceries, lodging, boats, fishing, tackle, bait, cabin and home sales, are estimated at over $900 per acre of fishable water per year.


7)     Direct consumer purchases plus indirect impacts on total income are estimated at nearly $1,500 per acre of fishable water per year.


8)     Real estate taxes yield less than one tenth of the total income from Itasca County lakes.  The bulk of income is from jobs and consumer purchases.  Itasca County can expect more income from jobs and consumer purchases if the water in Itasca County lakes is clean and supports healthy fish.


9)     Jobs, consumer purchases and property taxes depend upon protecting and enhancing water quality, shoreland aesthetics and fish and wildlife habitat.


10)   Vacationers and guests who visit family and friends in their shoreland homes account for the majority of tourists. These tourists spend large sums of money while enjoying Minnesota's lakes.


Income that circulates in the private sector from consumer purchases and services is far greater than income from property taxes.


Report compiled by Harold Dziuk, PhD, Turtle Lake