We quantify the effect that public conservation lands have on employment growth in the Northern Forest region of the United States. A model of simultaneous employment and net migration growth is estimated with data on non-metropolitan counties from 1990 to 1997. Exogenous variables include the 1990 share of the land base in public conservation uses. We find that net migration rates were higher in counties with more conservation lands, but the effects are relatively small. No significant effect on employment growth is detected. As well, variables measuring changes in public timber harvests have no effect on employment growth.