Recreation Conflict - Economic Valuation and Recreation Conflict
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Hatch, L. U. and T. R. Hanson. 2001. "Change and conflict in land and water use: Resource valuation in conflict resolution among competing users." Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 33(2): 297-306.

This paper focuses on the economic methods and values that can be used to help resolve water allocation conflicts. Lakefront property owners and recreational users were surveyed to find ou how changes in water level would affect landowners' property values and recreational visitation and expenses. Potential reservoir users were surveyed to determine their willingness to pay for preservation of the current reservoir resources. The survey illustrates a large economic impact for water level changes on recreational users. The type of research provides decision makers with important information about what is being gained or lost when these decisions are being made.

van Kooten, G. C. and E. H. Bulte. 1999. "How much primary coastal temperate rain forest should society retain? Carbon uptake, recreation, and other values." Canadian Journal of Forest Research 29: 1879-1890.

This study compares the average and marginal approaches for determining optimal preservation of primary forests. When the market values of various forest harvesting activities, such as timber production or mushroom picking, are compared to the non-market benefits, such as carbon sequestration, recreation or preservation, of preserving old-growth forests, the average method recommends harvest of all remaining old growth. In contrast, the marginal approach indicates that large-scale conversion of old-growth forests cannot be justified on economic grounds. The author concludes that despite advances in environmental economics and techniques for valuing non-market amenities, much theoretical and empirical work remains to be done before enough information is available to provide a strong economic answer resource questions of intense conflict, such as the one posed in this paper.

Duffield, J. W., T. C. Brown and S. D. Allen. 1994. "Economic value of instream flow in Montana's Big Hole and Bitterroot Rivers." USDA Forest Service Research Paper RM-317.

This study examines both the economic value of recreation and preservation uses of instream flows, such as river flows for fishing, boating, ecosystem stability or habitat provision, using dichotomous-choice and open-ended contingent valuation surveys. The marginal recreation values per acre-foot at low flow levels was found to in the $10 to $25 range. While the preservation value was found to be in the $25-$35 dollar range. A new method was introduced based on the application of Euler's Theorem, to identify the share of total value attributable to each motive. Approximately 75% of total valuation was associated with existence rather than use motives. Of the two rivers surveyed, the value of the instream flow is higher than the agricultural value of the water at all times on one river (the Big Hole) and only during moderate to low flow conditions on the other (the Bitterroot). This type of information is helpful to policy makers as they make decisions regarding appropriate flow levels when conflicts arise between different uses of instream river flows.

Sanders, L. D., R. G. Walsh and J. B. Loomis. 1990. "Toward empirical estimation of the total value of protecting rivers." Water Resources Research 26(7): 1345-1357.

Increasingly, conflicts exist between those looking to preserve rivers and river flows for environmental and recreational benefits and those looking to use river for extractive purpose. Determining the economic value of these resources for recreational and environmental conservation purposes is an important component of working to solve these conflicts. The purpose of this paper was to develop and apply a procedure to estimate a statistical demand function for the protection of rivers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The study found that the total value of rivers include important preservation benefits. A sample of the general population of the state reports a willingness to pay for preservation benefits. Inclusion of preservation benefits in state and federal guidelines for benefit-cost analysis would improve the efficiency of river allocation and increase the welfare of society.

Forster, B. A. 1989. "Valuing outdoor recreational activity: A methodological survey." Journal of Leisure Research 21(2): 181-201.

This paper surveys the economic literature relevant to the monetary valuation of outdoor recreational activity. Determining economic efficient allocation of recreational resources is one way for economists to contribute positively to solving recreation conflicts. The paper examines issues that arise in the design and application of the travel cost method, the contingent valuation method and the hedonic methods of valuing outdoor recreation activity. The most commonly used methods are the travel cost method (TCM) and contingent valuation method (CVM) with hedonic property value method being a possible but seldom used approach. The choice of method is often determined by the problem at hand and whether there is a variability in travel costs. Wherever possible a combination of CVM and TCM elements in a study is preferred in order to validate results.

Loomis, J. B. 1987. "The economic value of instream flow: methodology and benefit." Journal of Environmental Management 24: 169-179.

This paper examines the research on the economic benefits of instream flow, an important resource for a diverse range of recreation activities, wildlife preservation and fisheries. Techniques for estimating the economic efficiency benefits of non-marketed resources, such as contingent valuation and the travel cost method, have been used by researchers to establish relationships between instream flow levels and benefits. The marginal values of instream flow vary significantly with level of flow, extreme values ranging from $0.50 to $74 per acre foot. However, most studies evaluated reported annual values between $14 and $27 acre per foot. The value of the water for instream flow depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of water or the timing of water availability. For some rivers, at about 30% of peak flows the instream flow values are equal to or greater than the irrigation values. For other rivers, minimum flows necessary for the survival of fish may be the economically optimum levels of instream flows. For rivers that are popular recreation destinations, optimum flow levels may be substantially higher.

Matulich, S. C., W. G. Workman and A. Jubenville. 1987. "Recreation economics: taking stock." Land Economics.

This article looks at the state of recreation economics in 1987 and concludes that there is not enough work focused on the allocation of resources - the supply side. Much of the work in recreation economics has focused on refining the methodological issues associated with non-market valuation, but there are few examples of studies on supply-related phenomena. They conclude that the outdoor recreation economics is welfare economics in action with the task of providing the public sector better information about the allocation of recreational resources. Recreation economics will not be able to complete this task, nor contribute to solving recreation conflicts, without more of a focus on the supply side.

Narayanan, R. 1986. "Evaluation of recreation benefits of instream flows." Journal of Leisure Research 18(2): 116-128.

Instream uses, such as recreation, hydropower, navigation, waste transport, fish and wildlife maintenance and preservation of river ecosystems, compete for water use with uses requiring offstream diversions. While proposals for instream flow protection have recognized the importance of these instream uses, debate still exists about the relative value of these uses as compared to diversionary uses. A methodology to estimate instream flow benefits is proposed in this study. Using the travel cost approach, demand for recreation is first estimated. Surveys are then used to estimate changes in visitation corresponding to alternate levels of stream flows. Based on these results, instream flow benefits are then calculated, using weak complementarity assumption. This study is an example of an early instream flow study and it finds a relatively low marginal instream flow benefit of $0.42 per acre foot. However, this study is considering the instream benefits of recreation only.

Clawson, M. and J. L. Knetsch. 1966. "The values of land and water resources when used for recreation." In Economics of Outdoor Recreation, 211-229. Washington: John Hopkins Press.

This chapter is an oft cited in research that attempts to value land or water for recreation. In particular, this text helped to stimulate a great interest in the use of the travel cost method in recreation research. The travel cost method uses the cost of visitor travel to a recreation site and the total number of visitor different areas to build a demand curve for recreation at that site. The total economic benefit of recreation is the area under the demand curve. The chapter also reviews other methods for estimating the economic value of recreation areas.

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