Valuing the Recreational Benefits From the Creation of Nature Reserves in Irish Forests
Riccardo Scarpa (),
Susan M. Chilton,
W. George Hutchinson and
Joseph Buongiorno Additional contact information Susan M. Chilton: CASPER, Department of Economics, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
W. George Hutchinson: Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom
Joseph Buongiorno: Department of Forest Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin, Madison, United States of America
Data from a large-scale contingent valuation study are used to investigate the effects of forest attributes on willingness to pay for forest recreation in Ireland. In particular, the presence of a nature reserve in the forest is found to significantly increase the visitors' willingness to pay. A random utility model is used to estimate the welfare change associated with the creation of nature reserves in all the Irish forests currently without one. The yearly impact on visitors' economic welfare of new nature reserves approaches half a million pounds per annum, exclusive of non recreational values.