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Estimating Economic Costs of Allocating Land to Wilderness

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Economic costs of potential wilderness areas are needed for land allocation decisions. Existing data banks for some national forests and known linear programming techniques can be used to estimate marginal cost based on foregone resource values plus changes in management costs in a manner consistent with present Forest Service planning processes. Costs can be determined for (1) the least-cost and increasingly more costly wilderness areas and (2) specifically designated areas of potential wilderness. Costs are influenced by forest management objectives, as well as amount and location of land previously designated as wilderness. Results of a case study for the Beaverhead National Forest are presented. Forest Sci. 24:410-422.

Keywords: Resource scarcity; forest land use; linear programming

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forester, Policy Analysis Staff, USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

Publication date: September 1, 1978

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