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Invasive Weeds, Wildfire, and Rancher Decision Making in the Great Basin

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  • Mimako Kobayashi

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

  • Kimberly Rollins

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

Abstract

A numerical dynamic model is developed to characterize the decision problem of a rancher operating on rangelands in northern Nevada that are affected by invasive annual grasses and wildfire. The model incorporates decisions about herd size management of a cow-calf operation and fuels treatment to reduce the size of rangeland wildfires. Currently, high transactions costs to obtain permits to implement land treatments on federally-owned rangeland appear to limit rancher involvement. The results of the model suggest that, even if the transactions are removed, ranch income motives alone are likely insufficient for private ranchers to adopt preventative land treatments. The current treatment cost ($20 per acre at the minimum) appears to be prohibitively expensive relative to the benefits derived from the treatments under the low-productivity, semi-arid rangeland conditions.

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File URL: http://www.coba.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP09004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-004.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:09-004

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Keywords: Rangeland management; Stochastic dynamic programming; Ranching; Wildfire; Invasive grasses; Rangeland ecosystem benefits; Cow-calf operation;

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  1. David Finnoff & Aaron Strong & John Tschirhart, 2008. "A Bioeconomic Model of Cattle Stocking on Rangeland Threatened by Invasive Plants and Nitrogen Deposition," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1074-1090.
  2. Jarvis, Lovell S, 1974. "Cattle as Capital Goods and Ranchers as Portfolio Managers: An Application to the Argentine Cattle Sector," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 489-520, May/June.
  3. Janssen, Marco A. & Anderies, John M. & Walker, Brian H., 2004. "Robust strategies for managing rangelands with multiple stable attractors," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 140-162, January.
  4. Emilio A. Laca, 2007. "Stochastic Rangeland Use under Capital Constraints," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(3), pages 805-817.
  5. Stephen F. Hamilton & Terry L. Kastens, 2000. "Does Market Timing Contribute to the Cattle Cycle?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 82-96.
  6. Dayuan Hu & Richard Ready & Angelos Pagoulatos, 1997. "Dynamic Optimal Management of Wind-Erosive Rangelands," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 327-340.
  7. Mark E. Eiswerth & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2002. "Uncertainty, Economics, and the Spread of an Invasive Plant Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1317-1322.
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