Is Resident Valuation of Ranch Open Space Robust in a Growing Rural Community? Evidence From the Rocky Mountains uri icon

abstract

  • The conversion of ranch open space to development uses is common in rural areas experiencing rapid growth, often due to in-migration. There is concern that a growing and changing population could alter community preferences regarding development, permanently changing the physical and social landscape. This study investigates the nonmarket value of ranch open space to residents of an amenity-rich county in the Rocky Mountains (USA) using survey data from 1994 and 2004. We find that on that, on average, there was no difference in what residents were willing to pay for ranch open space conservation between the two years, and that income has a positive effect on willingness to pay. Because the population of the county is growing and average willingness to pay has stayed constant, aggregate willingness to pay for public ranch open space has increased, leading to greater total social benefits of public conservation initiatives.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012
  • 2012