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Are Residents Willing to Pay for their Community Forests? Results of a Contingent Valuation Survey in Missouri, USA

Thomas Treiman and Justine Gartner
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Thomas Treiman: Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Science, 1110 College Avenue, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA, tom.treiman@mdc.mo.gov
Justine Gartner: Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Science, 1110 College Avenue, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA, justine.gartner@mdc.mo.gov

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 9, 1537-1547

Abstract: Publicly owned trees have important environmental and amenity values contributing to the quality of urban life. Community officials charged with managing this resource face a lack of funding and underestimate the value that residents place on street trees. A survey of residents in 44 Missouri, USA, communities included a contingent valuation method item designed to estimate how residents' willingness-to-pay for improved tree care and maintenance varied with community size and location. Residents in communities with a population of 50 000 or more, in the St Louis and Kansas City suburbs, and in St Louis and Kansas City show strong support for a ballot issue establishing a tree fund supported by a tax of between $14 and $16 per household per year. The results of this survey, together with recent surveys of community forestry officials and street tree inventories, are used to make recommendations to state agencies charged with managing community forests.

Date: 2006
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