The value of ecosystem services provided by the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System in the contiguous U.S
Studies that demonstrate the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by public conservation lands can contribute to a more accurate appraisal of the benefit of these lands. The objective of this study was to estimate the economic value, in real (2004) dollars, of the ecosystem services provided by the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) in the contiguous U.S. In order to estimate this value, we determined the ecosystems present on the Refuge System in the contiguous 48 states, the proportion in which they are represented, and the dollar value of services provided by each. We used land cover classes as an approximation of ecosystems present in the Refuge System. In a geographic information system (GIS), we combined land cover geospatial data with a map of the Refuge System boundaries to calculate the number of acres for each refuge and land cover class within the Refuge System. We transferred values for the following ecosystem services: climate and atmospheric gas regulation; disturbance prevention; freshwater regulation and supply; waste assimilation and nutrient regulation; and habitat provision. We conducted a central tendency value transfer by transferring averaged values taken from primarily original site studies to the Refuge System based on the ecoregion in which each study site and refuge was located and the ecoregion's relative net primary productivity (NPP). NPP is a parameter used to quantify the net carbon absorption rate by living plants, and has been shown to be correlated with spatially fungible ecosystem services. The methodologies used in the site studies included direct market valuation, indirect market valuation and contingent valuation. We estimated the total value of ecosystem services provided by the Refuge System in the contiguous U.S. to be approximately $26.9 billion/year. This estimate is a first cut attempt to demonstrate that the value of the Refuge System likely exceeds the value derived purely from recreational activities. Due to limitations of current understanding, methods and data, there is a potentially large margin of error associated with the estimate.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Konarska, Keri M. & Sutton, Paul C. & Castellon, Michael, 2002. "Evaluating scale dependence of ecosystem service valuation: a comparison of NOAA-AVHRR and Landsat TM datasets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 491-507, June.
- Loomis, John & Kent, Paula & Strange, Liz & Fausch, Kurt & Covich, Alan, 2000. "Measuring the total economic value of restoring ecosystem services in an impaired river basin: results from a contingent valuation survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 103-117, April.
- Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2006. "What Are Ecosystem Services?," Discussion Papers dp-06-02, Resources For the Future.
- de Groot, Rudolf S. & Wilson, Matthew A. & Boumans, Roelof M. J., 2002. "A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 393-408, June.
- Batie, Sandra S. & Wilson, James R., 1978. "Economic Values Attributable to Virginia's Coastal Wetlands as Inputs in Oyster Production," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 111-118, July.
- Costanza, Robert & d'Arge, Ralph & de Groot, Rudolf & Farber, Stephen & Grasso, Monica & Hannon, Bruce & Limburg, Karin & Naeem, Shahid & O'Neill, Robert V. & Paruelo, Jose, 1998. "The value of ecosystem services: putting the issues in perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 67-72, April.
- Roberts, Lisa A. & Leitch, Jay A., 1997. "Economic Valuation Of Some Wetland Outputs Of Mud Lake, Minnesota-South Dakota," Agricultural Economics Reports 23406, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
- Woodward, Richard T. & Wui, Yong-Suhk, 2001. "The economic value of wetland services: a meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 257-270, May.
- Costanza, Robert & Farber, Stephen C. & Maxwell, Judith, 1989. "Valuation and management of wetland ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 335-361, December.
- Hovde, Brett & Leitch, Jay A., 1994. "Valuing Prairie Potholes: Five Case Studies," Agricultural Economics Reports 23391, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
- Smith, V. Kerry & Van Houtven, George & Pattanayak, Subhrendu, 1999. "Benefit Transfer as Preference Calibration," Discussion Papers dp-99-36, Resources For the Future.
- Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
- Batie, Sandra S. & Wilson, James R., 1978. "Economic Values Attributable To Virginia'S Coastal Wetlands As Input In Oyster Production," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 10(01), July.
- Brouwer, Roy, 2000. "Environmental value transfer: state of the art and future prospects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-152, January.
- Pate, Jennifer & Loomis, John, 1997. "The effect of distance on willingness to pay values: a case study of wetlands and salmon in California," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 199-207, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:4:p:608-618. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.