A Travel Cost Analysis of Nonconsumptive Wildlife-Associated Recreation in the United States

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Increased emphasis on sustainable resource management in forestry has effectuated a demand for various nontimber values. Nonconsumptive wildlife recreation is an important nontimber service produced on forest and rangeland. Travel cost models and data from the 1991 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation are used to estimate the demand and value for nonconsumptive wildlife-associated recreation in the United States. Resulting welfare measures are shown to be sensitive to assumptions about the cost of travel time, pecuniary costs, and functional form. Consumer surplus estimates range from 18.7 to 327.5 dollars per trip, while aggregate estimates of consumer surplus resulting from access to nonconsumptive wildlife recreation range from 5.8 to 66.4 billion dollars annually. Availability of information about nonparticipants allows comparison of truncated and untruncated demand models. Contrary to previous findings, consumer surplus estimates from truncated models are smaller than for untruncated counterparts. Trip demand is found to be adversely affected by per capita decreases in forest and rangeland. Models include interaction variables to avoid forcing hunting or fishing as potential substitutes for the large number of people who do not hunt or fish. Hunting and nonconsumptive wildlife recreation are complementary activities, while the results for fishing are mixed. FOR. SCI. 46(4):496–506.

Keywords: Nontimber values; consumer surplus; substitute activities; travel cost; truncation; wildlife recreation

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Econometrician American Express, Phoenix, AZ, former graduate student Department of Forest Resources, Clemson University, Phone: (602)766-9333; Fax: (602) 766-9242 mopphx@cs.com 2: Professor Department of Forest Resources, Clemson University, Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC, 29634-1003, Phone: (864) 656-4839. Fax: (864) 656-3304 ammrs@clemson.edu 3: Research Social Scientist USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Athens, GA, 30602, Phone: (706) 559-4271; Fax: (706) 559-4266 mbowker@fs.fed.us

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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.
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