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Preserving Old-Growth Forest Ecosystems: Valuation and Policy

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If valuation processes are dualistic in the sense that ethical values are given priority over instrumental values, and if old-growth forests are considered to be valuable in their own right, then the cost-benefits approach to valuing old growth is inappropriate. If this is the case, then ethical standards must be used to determine whether preservation is the correct policy when human material needs and ecosystem preservation are in conflict. Such a standard is suggested and evaluated in the context of the policy debate over the preservation of spotted owl habitat in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.

Keywords: environmental ethics and economics; old-growth forest policy; valuation of ecosystems

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 1997

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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