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Abstract

Regional economic impact models are important tools used to analyze the impacts of policy changes to a regional, state, county, or local economies. The National Environmental Policy Act requires economic analysis in preparing environmental impact statements to show the effects of policy alternatives on local economies. An input-output model was constructed for Owyhee County, Idaho, using farm- and ranch-level economic information to modify and "localize" the county IMPLAN model. This paper shows why an "out-of-the-box" model might not always be the best way to accurately account for economic impacts of policy changes on communities dependent on ranching and federal grazing. Results show that disparities exist between the hybrid model built for Owyhee County and an IMPLAN model of Owyhee County. Alternative grazing policy scenarios analyzed in the Owyhee Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement are used to show and compare results between the two models.

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