Visitor Values and Local Economic Impacts of Riparian Habitat Preservation: California's Kern River Preserve
|Visitor Values and Local Economic Impacts of Riparian Habitat Preservation: California's Kern River Preserve
|Year of Publication
|Colby, BG, Smith-Incer, E
|JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
|Blackwell Publishing Ltd
|birding, economics, expenditures, recreation, water allocation, willingness to pay
Preservation of the few remaining ecologically vital riparian areas in the southwestern United States is a significant policy concern. This article reports on two economic aspects of preserving a nationally renowned riparian birding area in Southern California. First, the article examines visitor willingness to pay (WTP) for habitat restoration and estimates an annual WTP of US $77 per visitor to preserve the habitat, about a half-million dollars a year for estimated visitor numbers in 2000 and 2001. Second, it documents visitor expenditures in the local economy to be approximately three-quarters of a million dollars per year. This direct visitor spending attributable to the riparian habitat generates around US $1.3 million in increased local business activity in this relatively remote rural area.