Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara


Part of the Bren School
Strategic Environmental Research Initiative

"Estimating the Economic Benefits of Reducing Forest Fires in
Endangered Species Habitat and the Wildland Urban Interface
Using the Contingent Valuation Method"

John Loomis
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Colorado State University

Thursday, January 23, 2014
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"John's work on non-market valuation, public lands management, recreation, and wildfire has not only defined the field of environmental economics, it has shaped natural resource policy at all levels of government." — Andrew J. Plantinga, Faculty Host

In this presentation, Professor Loomis talks about how non-market valuation (in particular, contingent valuation) has been introduced into U.S. Forest Service wildfire economics. The first applications provided economic values for protecting spotted owl habitat in Oregon and northern California from wildfires. The survey results indicated that: (a) while Oregon and California households had the highest economic values, (b) households in New England also valued protecting spotted owl habitat from fire, but at a lower monetary amount. The second non-market valuation applies to the willingness of households to pay for prescribed burning and fuel reduction (via thinning) to reduce the risk and severity of forest fires in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Florida, Montana, and California. What was unique at the time of the study was that we surveyed in Florida and California in both Spanish and English. In Montana we performed a mail survey that included not only Montana residents, but also members of the Kootenai-Salish tribe, about forest management to reduce wildfire risk on their lands. Professor Loomis will compare the economic values obtained from each group. Lastly, we illustrate how non-market valuation results can be made more useful for fire managers to apply.

Dr. John Loomis is the author or co-author of four books (Integrated Public Lands Management, 2nd edition, Environmental Policy Analysis for Decision Making, Recreation Economic Decisions, 2nd edition, and Determining the Economic Value of Water, 2nd Edition-forthcoming) as well as more than 200 journal articles dealing with economic valuation of non-marketed natural resources, such as recreation, wildfires, wildlife, and endangered species. These articles have been published in journals in a variety of jounrals, including the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Forest Science, Ecological Economics, and Land Economics . He is a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. Prior to coming to Colorado State University, Dr. Loomis was an associate professor at the University of California, Davis.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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