Optimal Location of New Forests in a Suburban Region
38 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2006
Date Written: May 2005
This paper looks at the optimal location of new forests in a suburban region under area constraints. The GIS-based methodology takes into account use benefits such as timber, hunting, carbon sequestration and recreation, non-use benefits (both bequest and existence values), opportunity costs of converting agricultural land, as well as planting and management costs of the new forest. The recreation benefits of new forest sites are estimated using function transfer techniques. We show that the net social benefit of the total afforestation project may vary up to a factor 6, depending on the forest sites that are selected. We show that the recreation value of a forest site varies considerably with the available substitutes.
Keywords: Benefit transfer, travel cost analysis, cost-benefit analysis, forest recreation, Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
JEL Classification: Q23, Q24, Q26, R14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation