Report: Farms & Natural Lands Initiatives

The ten-county area known as the Cumberland region of Tennessee has an incredible economic and environmental treasure worth billions of dollars – but until now we haven’t realized its true worth and all too often have taken it for granted.

What is it? Farms and Natural Lands are defined as: Farms. Forests. Parks, greenways, trails, wetlands and wildlife preserves as well as large residential lots.

Taken together, these Farms and Natural Lands bring over $5.2 Billion in salaries every year. $16.4 billion in economic spending impact in agriculture and timber. $15 Billion in increased property value. 177,900 jobs.

But there’s even more to it. Our Farms and Natural Lands bring us more than $3 Billion in the increasingly important eco systems services sector – meaning they clean our air and filter our water and perform other vital tasks including keeping us safe from flooding.

They also dramatically lower our health care costs by more than $400 Million per year.

This powerful economic impact also includes a literally untold amount of eco-tourism – that our region does not have reliable statistics on but soon will.

Our ten-county region has over 3 Million acres of Farms and Natural Lands. 1/3 of it is farmland and 2/3 is forests, wetlands, parks and residential areas. Only 15% of it is protected in any way. 85% of it is in private hands. And we are losing it –fast.

CRT is releasing this groundbreaking study that goes into great detail about the economic impact of our farms and natural lands. It looks at every category in every one of our ten counties. And the results are breathtaking.