Values & Benefits

I. Wilderness Protection: An Overview of the Issues

A. A brief history of Wilderness protection in the US

1. Short explanation of Wilderness Act – what is says
2. Socio-political context leading up to passage of the Act

a) Brief history, including Gila wilderness 1924, etc.

B. Are wilderness values and benefits changing?

1. Traditional wilderness values (isolation, etc.)

a) Review sources such as Cordell et al.

2. Emerging federal lands emphasis on understanding the benefits of ecosystem services
3. Demographic changes since 1964

a) Population in US (graph 1964-2064)
b) Include trends in the changing demographic composition of society

4. “Nature deficit disorder” hypothesis

a) Changes in the availability of leisure time (American Time Use Survey)

5. Legislative challenges altering traditional interpretation of Wilderness

a) Examples include the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act and the Gold Butte bill, etc

C. Purpose of this report

1. Highlight latest information on the economic and social benefits and values associated with Wilderness

a) Across all 4 Wilderness management agencies

2. Identify future research needs

II. Economic and Social Science Frameworks for Articulating Wilderness Values and Benefits

A. “Taxonomy” of ecosystem service values

1. On-site benefits: recreation, hunting, fishing
2. Off-site benefits:

a) Water, carbon, etc.
b) Community benefits – income, employment, property values, etc.
c) Passive use and option values
d) Scientific benefits – including biological diversity

B. Twenty-year gap in the economic literature on values and benefits

1. Histogram of published wilderness economics studies

C. Other valuation frameworks

1. Social science frameworks

a) Including qualitative frameworks for spiritual values, intrinsic values, etc.

II. Supply of Wilderness in the US

A. Acres in Wilderness (graph 1964 – 2016)

1. By management agency (F&WS, BLM, NPS, FS)

B. Trends in other federal “wild” lands (Wilderness study areas and National Monuments)
C. State, tribal and other wilderness areas (e.g., Adirondacks, Mission Mountains)
D. Discussion

1. Regional differences in trends
2. Agency differences in trends
3. Relationship of federal, state, tribal and other wilderness areas – compliments or substitutes?

III. Wilderness Contributions to Local Economies

A. Jobs and incomes

1. Tables with national and other estimates

B. Property values and taxes

1. Examples

C. Economic growth in rural economies

1. Examples

IV. Demand for Wilderness Recreation

A. Data collection systems:

1. Wilderness permits (VUPS and others)

B. Trends in visitation

1. Nationally, regionally, and by Agency
2. By type of recreation (nationally)

C. Trends in economic values (consumer surplus)

1. Nationally, regionally, and by Agency

V. Other Wilderness Ecosystem Service Values

A. Water values
B. Carbon values
C. Other “quantifiable” values

VI. Summary and Future Research Needs