Valuing Forest Protection Programs to Maximize Economic Benefit
: Christopher C. Moore Thomas P. Holmes
: Economic Damages/Benefits; Forests; Benefit-Cost Analysis
: invasive species; hemlock woolly adelgid; ecosystem valuation; forest preservation
: The hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive insect that is infesting and destroying hemlock forests in the northeastern United States. Mitigation efforts are taking place on public lands throughout the affected area. This study examines one such effort in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Economic benefits from hemlock ecosystem services are estimated using contingent valuation and are shown to outweigh the costs of mitigation. The estimated benefit function is also used in an optimization routine to examine the current allocation of conservation resources. Results show that a reallocation of mitigation effort would result in large gains in net economic benefit.
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