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Nonmarket Resource Valuation in the Postfire Environment

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After the containment of large wildland fires, major onsite and downstream effects including lost soil productivity, watershed response, increased vulnerability to invasive weeds, and downstream sedimentation can cause threats to human life and property. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams are responsible for developing treatment plans to mitigate negative consequences associated with these postwildfire events. BAER teams are charged with demonstrating that proposed treatments are economically justified. When the resources at risk are market values this poses few challenges; however, when the resources at risk are nonmarket values serious challenges occur including limited supporting scientific research, a lack of economics expertise and training among BAER team members, and tight time frames for conducting assessments resulting in final assessments that may not be defensible. In this study we show a clear and reproducible valuation procedure termed implied minimum value that may be adopted by BAER teams to improve the economic justification of treatments proposed to protect nonmarket resource values.
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Keywords: Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER); nonmarket valuation; postfire environment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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