Measuring recreational fishing benefits in a multiple site framework : a case study of the Willamette spring chinook sports fishery Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0g354j238

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  • The management options chosen by decision makers in managing wildlife and fisheries have different effects for diverse user groups. As a result, natural resource management agencies often seek information to evaluate the effects of alternative policies on the benefits provided to different constituencies. Over the past decade, economists have developed techniques to measure the benefits provided by such nonmarket goods. The random utility model (RUM), a variant of the travel cost model (TCM), is one of the techniques developed by economists to measure benefits associated with changes in the quantity or quality of nonmarket goods. The advantages of using RUN over other techniques are that the substitution effects among different sites providing similar recreational activities or services can be incorporated into the model to avoid overestimating the benefits provided by a certain site. Redacted for Privacy RUM is used in this thesis to measure the welfare changes caused by a reduction in fishing quality or closure of one of the sites in a recreational fishing area. The focus of this study is the spring chinook recreational fishery in the lower Willamette River. The 1988 Willamette Run Spring Chinook Survey and the 1988 Willamette River Spring Chinook Salmon Run Report, published by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, provide the data set to do this research. Three definitions of travel costs, TC1, TC2, and TC3 are derived from the data set and used alternatively in the RUM framework. Specific objectives of this thesis include: (1) estimate how the attributes of a site (travel cost, congestion level and fishing quality of the site) will affect the individual's site choice; and (2) estimate the welfare changes arising from the two hypothetical policies which change the quality of fishing experience and which restrict the access of anglers to a certain fishing site. The results indicate that fishing sites on the Willamette River are more attractive to anglers if the fishing quality is increased, if more people visit, and if the site is relatively inexpensive to reach. The results of the elasticities of probabilities show that the travel cost has the largest effect on individual site choice decision. For different definitions of travel costs, the estimated welfare losses caused by the first hypothetical policy (of a reduction in fishing. success) for a representative angler in the sample are $ 0.37, $ 0.91, and $ 0.47 respectively, per trip. For different definitions of travel costs, the aggregate welfare losses associated with this hypothetical policy are $ 82,309, $ 202,436, and $ 104,555. For different definitions of travel costs, the estimated welfare losses caused by the second hypothetical policy (a closure of one site) for a representative angler in the sample are $ 3.82, $ 54.91, and $ 4.83 per trip respectively. The aggregate welfare losses associated with this hypothetical policy are $ 849,786, $ 12,215,114, and $ 1,074,467 respectively for TC1, TC2, and TC3. Assuming that these two policies achieved the same objectives, the policy implication of these results is that the first policy is preferred because the welfare loss is much smaller than the second one. There is a methodological implication suggested by one of the findings. A few of the individual results obtained from the model with TC2 travel cost violate the assumption of utility maximization. This implies that TC2 may over-value the opportunity cost of time in the travel cost variable, and points out the uncertain of the definition of travel cost used in RUM analyses.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-10-25T18:04:31Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 LinPei-Chin1994.pdf: 865155 bytes, checksum: 6a2ff39c9d81b3e7f02d4db6219cca51 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-10-26T17:23:52Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 LinPei-Chin1994.pdf: 865155 bytes, checksum: 6a2ff39c9d81b3e7f02d4db6219cca51 (MD5)

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