Protecting Oregon old-growth forests from fires: How much is it worth?

  • A. Gonzalez-Caban USDA
  • J. Loomis Colorado State University
  • R. Gregory Decision Research
Keywords: Forest fire protection, old growth forest, Oregon


Current fire management policies in the USDA Forest Service includes traditional multiple uses, but these policies do not adequately incorporate non.traditional uses such as preservation of biodiversity and related nongame and endangered animals. A contingent valuation methodology was used for valuing the general public's desire to know that rare and unique ecosystems exist and will be protected from fire for current and future generations. The methodology was applied to old-growth forests and critical habitat units for the northern spotted owl in Oregon. A mail survey describing a simulated voter referendum on an Oregon old-growth fire prevention and control fund that reduces by half the number of acres of old-growth burned each year was sent to a random sample of 1,000 Oregon households. Each household was randomly assigned one of 20 alternative program cost levels ranging from $2 to $300. The mean dichotomus choice willingness to pay estimate was of $90. By expanding the sample to Oregon's populations yields, estimates ranged from $45 to $99 million for the whole State (a low of $45 to $90 per household). The resulting value per acre saved from fire under the proposed scenario is more than $24,000; and the cost per acre of old growth protected is $28.


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How to Cite
Gonzalez-CabanA., LoomisJ., & GregoryR. (1995). Protecting Oregon old-growth forests from fires: How much is it worth?. Forest Systems, 4(1), 143-154.
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