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Title: Measuring rural homeowners' willingness to pay for land conservation easements

Author: Cho, Seong-Hoon; Newman, David H.; Bowker, J. Michael;

Date: 2005

Source: Forest Policy and Economics, 7: 757-770.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Rapid growth of rural communities in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Macon County, North Carolina has been giving rise to concerns over declining environmental quality and increasing need for land-use policy. This paper examines willingness to pay (WTP) for hypothetical conservation easements as an alternative land-use policy for the county. Despite the fact that Macon County has struggled to adopt any land-use policy, the stated WTP for conservation easements of our study shows that homeowners potentially value the use of conservation easements. Estimated household’s WTP to participate in an easement program ranges from $10.97 to $21.79 per year per household depending on modeling assumptions. Aggregate county WTP ranges from $360,772 to $109,825 depending on aggregation stance. This suggests a range of 53–175 acres entering the program per year, and a consequent decline in the rate of land conversion, compared to the 1987–1997 period, of 14–46%.

Keywords: WTP, willingness to pay, land conservation easements, tobit, heckit, CVM, contingent valuation method

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Cho, Seong-Hoon; Newman, David H.; Bowker, J. Michael 2005. Measuring rural homeowners'' willingness to pay for land conservation easements. Forest Policy and Economics, 7: 757-770.


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