Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management Issues

Research Project: 


Project Manager: 

The Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Credit: Katie Walters
Colorado wilderness. Photo credit: Katie Walters

Natural resources provide many goods and services including ecosystem services, recreational opportunities, commercial uses, and subsistence. Natural resource management can have an impact on local communities in terms of stimulating output and revenue as well as employment. It can also generate nonmarket, societal benefits such as recreational use, healthy ecosystem services, fish and wildlife habitat, and non-use values such as knowing a resource exists in a particular condition (existence value) and the potential for visiting in the future (option value). Evaluating the potential socioeconomic impacts of changes in land and resource management practices is a required part of the planning process. Economists have a variety of tools available to measure the market and nonmarket values of goods and services provided by natural resources. Through this task, FORT scientists will provide the economic research and analyses needed to help managers assess possible socioeconomic outcomes of proposed changes in natural resource management.