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Valuing the forest for the trees: Willingness to pay for white pine blister rust management

Posted date: July 01, 2011
Publication Year: 
2011
Authors: Meldrum, James R.; Champ, Patricia A.; Bond, Craig A.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 226-234.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

The nearly two million acres of high elevation forests in the Western United States are not an important source of timber or any other market products. However, that does not mean that the forests are not highly valuable. Visitors and nonvisitors alike value the unique five-needle pine trees found in these high elevation ecosystems. In this study, we estimate the nonmarket benefits of preserving high elevation forests in the Western United States from the threat of white pine blister rust (WPBR), a non-native pathogen. A contingent valuation survey collected information about attitudes, behaviors, and economic preferences related to high elevation forests and the threat posed by WPBR. The estimated values suggest high-elevation forests in the Western United States provide the public with significant nonmarket benefits. The magnitude of the estimated nonmarket benefits and responses to attitudinal measures reflect survey respondents' concern about the continued existence of healthy high-elevation forests. Attitude and behavior data demonstrate varied motivations for nonmarket values. The majority of the survey respondents had visited a high-elevation forest in the past, yet recreation was rated the least important feature of high elevation forests. Results of this study can be used in benefit-cost or other types of analysis to improve management efficiency of high elevation white pine ecosystems.

Citation

Meldrum, James R.; Champ, Patricia A.; Bond, Craig A. 2011. Valuing the forest for the trees: Willingness to pay for white pine blister rust management. In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 226-234.