Amenity values and payment schemes for free recreation services from non-industrial private forest properties: A French case study
Free-access recreation on private forest property is gaining in importance with the increasing social demand for forest-based recreation. The amended French Forest Law of 2001 provides for schemes with a voluntary contract, in terms of which private forest owners are paid to maintain an open-access forest for nature-based recreational activities, which are largely public goods. The main objective of this paper is to analyze private forest landowners' commitment to free-access recreation services on their properties. We develop a framework to estimate their willingness-to-accept (WTA) values as a measure of the financial compensation that they expect in exchange of reduced forest amenity values due to a public recreation use management plan. Since forest holdings are permanently exposed to several types of risk, the willingness-to-accept measure is defined within a subjective expected utility modeling approach. Our empirical analysis draws on data from a contingent valuation design carried out in 2006 in the Landes district in France. The empirical distribution of the subjective probability of fire risk is deduced from the forest owners' perception of fire risks due to free recreation use. We then introduce our measurements of the fire risk as explanatory variables of the forest owners' financial compensation requirements.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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