Research Q&A - Current Outlooks on Amenity Migration in the Intermountain West

Oct. 29 - 2:00PM MDT

Are the population cycles in gateway communities always a boom or a bust? Dr. Don Albrecht from the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University joins researchers from across the country to share insights into the current population, mobility, and migration trends in western gateway communities and their surrounding regions. The team will discuss how COVID-19 may influence these trends and the implications of amenity migration on how we all live, work, and play.


Don Albrecht - Western Rural Development Center - Dr. Don Albrecht is the Director of the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University. He has researched and written extensively on the issues confronting the communities and residents of rural America. Among the issues explored are natural resource concerns, economic restructuring, demographic trends, poverty, inequality, and education. His most recent book publications include Rural Housing and Economic Development (2018); Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level in the United States (2019) and Building a Resilient Twenty-First Century Economy for Rural America

Megan Lawson - Headwaters Economics - Megan leads Headwaters Economics' research in outdoor recreation, economic development, and demographics. She is an economist, and uses economic and demographic analysis to better understand the issues communities face. She holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Williams College.

Peter Nelson - Middlebury College - is a Professor of Geography at Middlebury College in Vermont where he joined the faculty in 1999. He teaches courses on population issues, the global economy and the rural United States. His current research funded by NSF focuses on migration to rural communities and rural gentrification. He has also examined subprime lending in rural housing markets (supported by USDA) and the connections between aging baby boomers and Latinos arriving in certain rural destinations.

John Cromartie - Geographer in the USDA’s Rural Economics Division - John Cromartie is a geographer in the Rural Economy Branch, Resource and Rural Economics Division. John joined ERS in July, 1990. His research focuses on rural population change, rural migration, and rural-urban classifications. He was the first to report and explain this decade’s historic shift to rural population decline. As an expert on rural definitions, John has developed new rural-urban classification schemes, most recently the ERS Frontier and Remote Area Codes. He has briefed policymakers on definitions used to determine eligibility for rural development programs at USDA, HHS, and other agencies. He serves as a consultant to the Office of Management and Budget on metropolitan area definitions and the American Community Survey.

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Community Q&A - Perspectives on Amenity Migration

Nov. 12 - 2:00PM MDT

Amenity migration is being experienced by communities across the intermountain west in very different ways. The perspectives on amenity migration vary as widely as do the communities, creating a continuum of excitement and concern. Leaders from communities across this continuum will share their insights, experiences, and strategies for managing the impacts of amenity migration.

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A Tale of Two Towns: The Successful Communities Approach
in Action in Gardiner & Deer Lodge, MT - ft. Future West

Nov. 19 - 2:00PM MDT


Gardiner, MT had a rapidly growing population and was struggling to manage it. Deer Lodge, MT had a shrinking population and was struggling to reverse it. Both communities partnered with Future West to work through the Successful Communities approach to community planning and strategizing. Future West will share these examples of their work and talk about the critical need for communities to come together, discuss and strategize for their future before it's too late.

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What Comes Next? Community Peer Exchange & Listening Session

Dec. 3 - 2:00PM MDT

This peer-to-peer learning session is an opportunity for gateway and natural amenity communities to get together to discuss what the increasing trend of amenity migration might mean for their towns and regions and discuss strategies to move forward. This session is geared toward GNAR community members, and not the general public. Participants should come prepared to share insights, challenges, and strategies from their community and to learn from other communities across the intermountain west.

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RECORDING: Growth & Development Challenges in GNAR Communities -
Oct. 15 - 2:00PM MDT

This interactive session will share the key findings of a survey of planning and development challenges in over 1,500 western gateway communities. It will also engage participants in dialogue about the findings, what they mean for GNAR communities, and what GNAR communities need to respond to the planning and development challenges they face.

Danya Rumore

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Frontier Forward, this session of the series can provide a training opportunity that counts for 1.5 American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certificate Maintenance (CM) Credits through the American Planning Association.







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