On June 20, 2012, FORT economist Leslie Richardson will brief the National Science and Technology Councilís Subcommittee on Ecological Systems on a Web-based Toolkit designed to facilitate the economic valuation of a range of recreation uses and other ecosystem services using secondary data. (The National Science and Technology Council is the Cabinet-level Council that coordinates science and technology policy across the diverse entities that make up the Federal research and development enterprise.) This Toolkit is currently in the process of being updated, expanded, and migrated to a USGS website (the current version is available at http://dare.colostate.edu/tools/benefittransfer.aspx). The Toolkit includes spreadsheet-based databases of non-market valuation studies, average value tables, and meta-regression analysis models that can be used to conduct various types of benefit transfer. It allows resource planners and managers to incorporate non-market values into their planning and decision-making without spending the time and money necessary to obtain original data. The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, in collaboration with the National Water Quality Assessment Program, is interested in using secondary data through application of the Toolkit to value the change in ecosystem service benefits resulting from changes in instream flows in various rivers throughout the country. Economists within FORTís Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch will add an instream flow component to the Toolkit to meet this need.
For more information contact: Leslie Richardson