Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Estimation of net economic benefits of the Oregon big game resource to hunters Public Deposited

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  • Much outdoor recreation occurs on publicly owned land and water resources, or involves use of these public resources. Consequently, an economic problem arises concerning the value of recreational resources which do not have a conventional market price. Without a price to guide the allocation of resources, it is difficult to obtain optimal decisions in allocation of these publicly owned natural resources among alternative uses, including recreation, timber, and domestic livestock production. In Oregon, the big game resource has a great impact on the economy of the state. Positive values of this resource are related to recreational use and to income generated which benefit local economies. Negative values of big game include its competition for resources used for timber production and/or livestock grazing. In order to better assess the value of the big game resource, an attempt has been made in this thesis to improve demand models from which the net economic value of the Oregon big game resource can be derived. The data used in this study were obtained from the questionnaires mailed to a random sample of Oregon big game hunters during the fall of 1968. The travel cost method was used to estimate the demand for big game hunting, based on the actual behavior of the hunters. Several algebraic forms of the travel cost demand equation were estimated for the Northeast and the Central regions of Oregon. The concept of consumers' surplus was used to estimate the net economic value for the Oregon big game resources. Net economic value for the Northeast and Central regions of Oregon in 1968 dollars was approximately $14.3 million, based on the exponential demand function. Net economic value for the same two regions was approximately $11 million, based on the linear demand function. An attempt was made in this study to predict the changes in consumers' surplus from changes in the number of deer and elk harvested. Note that the regression models in this thesis implied that a ten percent increase in harvest would increase the consumers' surplus of hunters by more than ten percent. However, the hypothesis that a ten percent increase in harvest would increase consumers' surplus by exactly ten percent was not rejected by a statistical test. Therefore, a good deal more research is needed to determine the value of marginal changes in the number of deer and elk harvested. It is thought that the estimation of net economic value in this study for the Northeast and Central regions of Oregon will be useful from the viewpoint of big game management and resource allocation in Oregon.
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