Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

A cost effectiveness analysis of actions to reduce stream temperature : a case study of the Mohawk watershed Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1544bs59h

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  • The concept of ecosystem management requires that management prescriptions account for economic and environmental goals that are measured in non-commensurate units. This study examines the economic and environmental trade-offs associated with planting a riparian buffer in trees to reduce stream temperatures in the Mohawk watershed, Oregon. The detrimental effects of high stream temperatures on fish production and survival have received increasing attention from State and Federal agencies. The cost and effectiveness of five riparian buffer scenarios and three tax policies are identified and used to construct a cost-effectiveness frontier. Specifically the study: (i) empirically estimates total welfare changes and their distribution among Mohawk residents; (ii) identifies the effectiveness of alternative buffer prescriptions and (iii) identifies cost-effective policy scenarios. The study adopts a welfare theory framework to examine welfare changes among producers and residential property owners. A mathematical programming model is used to generate empirical estimates of welfare change. The model has two interesting features, (i) a hedonic pricing analysis is used to generate coefficients which determine how residential property prices change in response to riparian plantings and (ii) buffer prescriptions are linked to a stream temperature estimator, Heat Source, to estimate changes in stream temperature. Data for the model are collected using a Geographical Information System, personal interview survey, aerial photograph interpretation, enterprise budgets and other sources. Results indicate that riparian buffers are effective in achieving some reductions in stream temperature. The total cost and distribution of welfare changes across sectors differs between scenarios. Under the efficient scenarios welfare increases in the agricultural sector, decreases in the forestry sector and residential welfare both increases and decreases depending on the scenario. In general, the least efficient agricultural producers will receive the greatest benefits from the proposed scenarios. A progressively wider riparian buffer results in residential property owners bearing a greater percentage of welfare loss. From a policy perspective the efficient scenarios reduce stream temperatures at the expense of collected tax revenues which may affect individuals outside the study area. The choice of which policy to choose from the frontier may differ depending on whether riparian plantings are voluntary or mandatory.
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