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A Comparison of the Economic Efficiency of Living and Artificial Snowfence Designs for Road Protection

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Both artificial and living snowfences are used to protect roads from blowing and drifting snow. This article evaluates and compares the economic performance of three snowfence designs--the Wyoming and double-row slatted artificial snowfences and a three-row living snowfence. The economic analysis evaluates the snowfences by applying four economic performance indicators: total net benefits, present net value, benefit/cost ratio, and annual breakeven benefits. The study uses snow removal savings and accident reduction benefit information from a case study in the state of Wyoming. The case study results show all the designs are economically efficient when used for road protection. However, the living snowfence outperformed the other designs in three of the four economic performance indicator categories. The largest proportion of total costs of the Wyoming and living snowfence are establishment costs whereas the bulk of total cost of the double-row slatted snowfence is for maintenance. The economic performance of all the snowfences is most sensitive to changes in their useful or effective lives. The procedures and general conclusions of the study can be applied to similar cases elsewhere. West. J. Appl. For. 15(2):70-74.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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