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History of the Company

We’re an economics firm specializing in the broad application of economics to serve public and private interests. We have always had a special affinity for the monetary valuation of land and the negotiation of a reasonable fee for its use,” says Robert Robinson, co-founder of the Center for Applied Research.

Established in Denver’s historic lower downtown in 1989, the Center quickly became a “base camp” for economists, policy analysts, engineers, writers and others with a personal or professional interest in the economy and the environment of the western United States.

After we started the organzation, we learned from several prominent Native American leaders that their interests in tribal lands were being neither respected nor addressed,” Robinson continues. “Given my background in economics and public policy, I knew this was a special clientele we could serve.

Developing computer models that took into consideration a wide range of real estate and socio-economic conditions, Robinson and his team created data bases that becamee the benchmark from which valuation of Indian and other trust land could be established and which would inform negotiations over lease, rental and rights-of-way fees.

Governments and their agencies were next to seek out the Center given its awareness of environmental values. In the years that followed, Robinson and staff advocated and negotiated on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, FEMA and many dozens of private, non-profit, government and tribal entities.

The hallmark of our work has always been that it would be non-biased,” Robinson says. “Objectivity is our goal, reinforced through the use of an applied theoretical framework. Economics is the revealing core in all of our work.”

The Center has conducted more than 200 studies and research assignments related to economic analysis, natural resource development, and public policy analysis.

Today, the Center is at the forefront of trending the West’s future, using population forecasting tools and employing demography, migration, energy consumption, land valuation, tax revenue receipts and other indices of economic growth and change.

What, in the end, is the West?” Robinson asks. “Is it a place or an idea? A dreamscape or an action? Is it all of these things? Above all it is a humbling immensity of silent roads, deserts and mountains severed from the East. The West matters to America the way the Highlands matter to a Scotsman or the forests to a Russian. It matters that it is here as a kind of ‘commons’ for everyone.

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