fish and wildlife resources

Hydroelectric Dams Endanger the Coosa River

The failure by Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the endangered wildlife from impacts from hydropower projects has qualified the Coosa River as one of nation’s most endangered rivers.


Handbook for estimating the economic value of changes in fish and wildlife-related resources

EC-96-13, May 1996

This handbook is designed to help determine economic valuations for changes in fish and wildlife habitat dude to government activities or decisions. Valuing these resources requires recognition that traditional economic valuation techniques (market prices) are not adequate. A researcher needs to use additional techniques to identify and quantify values that contribute to the well-being of our society. Economists believe that these values need to be represented in economic terms when managerial decisions are made. Many government agencies have supported the efforts to value nonmarket goods in recent years. These agencies have issued reports which follow the development of nonmarket valuations in economic theory. Currently, the "Principle and Guidelines"" provide guidance for determining economic values and recognizes "the willingness to pay" principle which underlies the nonmarket valuation technique. Economists determine economic efficiency through measurement of net willingness to pay and producer profit. These values represent the "net" value to consumers and producers, above the transaction costs. Efficiency is increased if the sum of these values is increased. Efficiency is maximized under purely competitive markets. Unfortunately, many goods are not provided in purely competitive market, leading to inefficient allocations of goods in our society. Public goods are one area of inefficient allocations. Certain resources provide public goods to society. Under a "market only" analysis, these goods typically would not be available, as there are no prices representing their value to society. Therefore, other techniques are necessary to measure their nonmarket values. Total value for nonmarket goods can be divided into use and nonuse values. Techniques for estimating use values include the contingent valuation method, the travel cost method, and unit day value method. This hand book also discusses other techniques sometimes used and suggests why these are less preferred. Also, a benefit transfer technique was discussed. This technique applies results from other studies to provide estimates of value when a more thorough technique is not feasible. This handbook also shows estimates of values found using the techniques discussed.


Ekstrand, E.R.