Quality outdoor recreation is an essential part of the Chaffee County lifestyle as well as a key economic driver. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area generated nearly $70 million in economic impact in 2019, and about 100,000 hikers summit local Fourteeners every summer. While recreation is growing and that’s good for the economy, the community has recognized recreation as a consumptive use that can cause negative impacts to the health of the land and watersheds, as well as outdoor experiences.
Chaffee Common Ground funds planning and management solutions that address impacts on landscape and watershed health resulting from outdoor recreation use. Investments include “hardening” recreation sites, restoring impacted areas, managing waste, decreasing erosion, and educating visitors.
The Chaffee County Outdoor Recreation Management Plan serves as a guide to implement community-supported solutions through 2026. Developed by the community under Chaffee Recreation Council leadership with facilitation by Envision Chaffee County, the plan’s three-pronged vision is to protect natural resources, maintain exceptional outdoor experiences and sustain the economic benefits of tourism.