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Comparing the Economic Value of Reducing Fire Risk to Spotted Owl Habitat in California and Oregon

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To increase the range of natural resource values considered in the USDA Forest Service fire management analysis system, a combined telephone contact-mail booklet-telephone interview of California and New England households regarding their willingness to pay for reducing fire intensity and acres burned in California and Oregon's spotted owl habitat located in old growth forests was performed. Using a multiple bounded dichotomous choice format, annual willingness to pay of $79 per California household and $46 per New England household was estimated for a 20% reduction in acreage burned in California. For the same percentage reduction in fire in Oregon's old growth forest the value is $59 per California household and $45 per New England household. For a combined California and Oregon Program, California households would pay $95 annually, while New England households would pay $61. This illustrates the importance of national programmatic valuation of the USDA Forest Service's fire control program in old growth forests, rather than state by state surveys which miss substitution effects. This analysis also demonstrates that households benefit from and support fire protection of old growth forests in states other than their own. For. Sci. 43(4):473-482.
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Keywords: Willingness to pay; contingent valuation method; survey

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Fire Lab, Riverside CA, 92507. Phone (909) 680-1525;, Fax: (909) 680-1501

Publication date: 1997-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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