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Contingent Valuation/Recreational Values

This web site contains a collection of information for NRCS to use for contingent valuation of recreational activities for watershed planning and other NRCS economic purposes. The Unit Day Method is the most common method used for calculating recreational benefits for NRCS usage, but it is based on 1962 data which provided an average value of $1.00 per day, +/- some quality differences. That 1962 value was indexed to the 1982 values used in P&G by CPI, and these values should be in-turn be indexed to current values by current CPI. This method can be used for insignificant recreational calculations for watershed analysis, but economists should note that the values obtained are highly conservative, averaging perhaps 20% of the current values from actual Recreational Economics studies using other methods. If the recreational benefits have any potential for affecting the selection of the NED or Recommended Plans, economists are highly advised to adopt applicable contingent valuation or travel costs methods.  While the cost and time requirements of obtaining actual survey data on specific proposed NRCS projects is often prohibitive, NRCS economists are encouraged to use the benefit" the="" transfer="" us="">.   This Benefit Transfer method was updated in October 2005, and the database was updated to 1,200 values.  The Roenberger study is updated to 2010 values.

Lakeshore Property Values and Water Quality:

The US Army Corps of Engineers has a number of survey studies of actual camper, boater, hunter, and visitor expenditures at and around parks, campgrounds, and lakes.

Corps recreation expenditures studies (survey results):

Other recreation expenditure related websites

Reports and Journal Articles

  • Hussain, A., I. Munn, D. Holland, J. Armstrong, and S. Spurlock. 2012. Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation Expenditures in the Southeast United States: A General Equilibrium Analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 44.
  • Johnston, R.J., M.H. Ranson, E.Y. Besedin and E.C. Helm. 2006. ‘What Determines Willingness to Pay per Fish? A Meta-Analysis of Recreational Fishing Values,’ Marine Resource Economics, 21, 1-32<
  • Kelch, D., F. Lichtkoppler, B. Sohngen, and A. Daigneault. 2006. The value of steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss) angling in Lake Erie tributaries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 32:424-433.
  • Kim, H. N., W. D. Shaw, and R. T. Woodward. 2007. The distributional impacts of recreational fees: A discrete choice model with incomplete data. Land Economics 83:561-574.
  • Mahasuweerachai, P., T. A. Boyer, D. M. Balsman, and D. E. Shoup. 2010. Estimating Demand for Urban Fisheries Management: an Illustration of Conjoint Analysis as a Tool for Fisheries Managers. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:1339-1351.
  • McKean, J. R., D. Johnson, and R. G. Taylor. 2010. Willingness-to-pay for steelhead trout fishing: Implications of two-step consumer decisions with short-run endowments. Water Resources Research 46:W09523.
  • Munn, I. A., A. Hussain, S. Spurlock, and J. E. Henderson. 2010. Economic Impact of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation Expenditures on the Southeast US Regional Economy: An Input–Output Analysis. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 15:433-449. Keefe, D. M. and S. R. Miller. 2011. 2009 Michigan Charter Fishing Study.
  • Prado, B. E. 2006. Economic valuation of the Lower Illinois trout fishery in Oklahoma under current and hypothetical management plans. Oklahoma State University.
  • Robbins, J. L. and L. Y. Lewis. 2008. Demolish it and They Will Come: Estimating the Economic Impacts of Restoring a Recreational Fishery. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association 44:1488-1499.
  • Taylor, R. G., J. R. McKean, and D. Johnson. 2010. Measuring the location value of a recreation site. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 35:87.
  • Timmins, C. and J. Murdock. 2007. A revealed preference approach to the measurement of congestion in travel cost models. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 53:230-249.
  • World Bank 2012. Hidden Harvest: The global contribution of capture fisheries. World Bank.

Other Studies

Number Subject Agency Date
FHW/01-NAT All FS Research Publications In This Database USDA/FS 2002
2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation Census USF&W 05-02
paperid=3797 The Value of Sport Fishing in the Snake River Basin of Central Idaho U. Idaho Quinnipiac University 01-02
  IEc's Sportfishing Database on the Web IEc/FWS 07-01
Rev.of AgEcon 32,
pgs. 120-132
Nonpoint Source Pollution and Present Values: A contingent Valuation Study of Lake Mendota UWisc 05-01
BUV Beneficial Use Values Database
Economic Values for Beneficial Uses of Water
RMRS-GTR-72 Benefit transfer of outdoor recreation use values:  A technical document supporting the Forest Service
Strategic Plan (2000)
FS 06-13-01
EPA EPA Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses EPA 01-19-01
FWS 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation FWS 12-10-99
1706r99 Project Planning for Water Quality Concerns (252 KB) S 06-21-99
1801r99 Guide for Estimating Participation In Conservation Operations and Watershed Protection Projects (36.7 KB) S 06-21-99
614r99 The Economics of Nutrient and Pest Management (23.5 KB) S 06-21-99
611 NRCS National Water Resources Handbook for Economics Part 611 (855 KB) NRCS 07-02-98
300-V-NWSMr98 NRCS National Watersheds Manual NRCS 04-02-98
W2 Appraisal and Valuation for Conservation Efforts (182 KB) W 01-01-98
612 NRCS National Resource Economics Handbook, Water Quality Part 612 NRCS
6 Using Economics to Promote Water Quality, A Simplified Example Approach (1.40 MB) MW 09-01-92
MW200L3 Conservation Options Procedure (COP) (3.81 MB) MW 10-01-88
MW200L2 PL566 Land Treatment Evaluation Conservation Options Procedure (COP) (666 KB) MW 05-01-88
W5 PL566 Land Treatment Evaluation Conservation Options Procedure W 04-01-88
NEH National Economic Handbook, entire 1986 draft E 08-12-86
WRC Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies (1.18 MB) WRC 03-10-83


Updated : July 11, 2012