With midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate Now

Amid climate change worries, a good year for fall foliage

Dan Weissmann Oct 16, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Amid climate change worries, a good year for fall foliage

Dan Weissmann Oct 16, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Fall colors are big business. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimates direct tourist spending at more than a billion dollars.

The state also pours millions into promotions, like this TV ad in which a Green Bay Packers receiver runs into a tree in black-and-white Kansas, and wakes up in brilliant Wisconsin. When the good witch tells him he can go home any time he wants, it’s bad news.

Tourism officials say the state’s not seeing dampened colors or tourist traffic at this point. Innkeepers back them up.

Jean Hayes and her husband run the Inn on Hillwind, near Sheboygan. It’s peak leaf-peeping season there right now.  “For the next three weekends, yes, we’re looking very good,” she says.

Howie Neufeld, a biology professor at Appalachian State University, watches the studies on how climate change may affect fall colors.

“I think that some of these changes could be subtle,” he says. “And I think there’ll still be pretty colors. I just think they’ll be different colors.”

But the color green — as in money — will stay part of the picture.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.