Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



A Bureau of Business Research Report From the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, September 8, 2009


Copyright 2009 Edwards & Thompson.


Thousands of visitors travel to central Nebraska each year to view one of nature's most spectacular sights – the gathering of hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) along the Platte River. As well as experiencing nature, the crane-watchers bring new spending to the economy of central Nebraska. In addition, crane-related conservation research and education centers obtain grants and other funds to finance their operations, also bringing new spending to the area.

This study collected financial data and conducted surveys to assess the impact of the Audubon Rowe Bird Sanctuary on the central Nebraska economy in 2009. We use the IMPLAN software to calculate the relevant economic multipliers. We considered both the operational expenditures and spending by tourists attracted to the Rowe Sanctuary. We find that the total economic impact of Rowe's operations to be $0.69 million, and the total economic impact of spending by Rowe's visitors to be $1.39 million. Thus the overall impact of Rowe Sanctuary on the central Nebraska economy is $2.08 million in 2009.