Conservation Pay$ in the Mat-Su

How Nature Supports the Local Economy

In Alaska, everyone has a favorite fishing spot. Life without our lakes and streams simply wouldn’t be the same. For many of us, we value a life lived near nature. So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that property situated near lakes, rivers and open space has considerably higher values than otherwise similar properties.

Now, we know exactly how much nature contributes to property values – and it could help us rethink our approach to development. Recent research by the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage shows that in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, nature can account for a sizable chunk of a property’s value.

“Now, in the Mat-Su, we have specific dollar amounts for the natural features that people love in the Mat-Su. As communities grow, this research can help guide how to protect the value of the local tax base and the nature that people love in the Mat-Su,” said Corinne Smith, who directs the Conservancy’s Matanuska-Susitna Basin program.

See the complete report, Contribution of Land Conservation and Freshwater Resources to Residential Property Values in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.


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