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Recreation benefits of natural area characteristics at the El Yunque National Forest

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The paper applies the Contingent Valuation Method using a visitor survey to determine trip values to three rivers in northeastern Puerto Rico. Sample data were obtained from 984 interviews conducted in 13 sites during the summer months. The trip value is statistically decomposed into components representing natural features and recreation activities. The median net economic value of a river visit without waterfalls or foot trails is $96. Recreation at rivers with both waterfalls and foot trails has a median value of $138 per trip. The presence of waterfalls accounts for $23 and foot trails $19 per trip. This information can be pertinent for managers in selecting recreation site locations and protecting them from competing uses.
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Keywords: Puerto Rico Natural Recreation Valuation; contingent valuation method; natural attribute valuation; river recreation valuation; tropical forest rivers; willingness to pay

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Planning, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras 2: Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, B310 Clark, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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