Who knew that wildlife refuges are actually "economic engines" in disguise? A recent study by North Carolina State University researchers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that metro-area homes near wildlife refuges are worth more than those farther away from these havens. The report surveyed homes in urban areas near refuges in the Northeast, Southeast, and California-Nevada region. The report didn't include the Southwest because reserves there tend to be too far from dense, urban cores.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who studies humans and environments, but it's nice that it's getting some "official" research attention. I can just hear the calls of suburban population now: "What do we want? Dirt! When do we want it? Now!" :)