Chapter 15: Estimating Recreational Trout Fishing Damages in Montana’s Clark Fork River Basin: Summary of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment
15. Estimating recreational trout ﬁshing damages in Montana’s Clark Fork River Basin: summary of a natural resource damage assessment Edward R. Morey, William S. Breﬄe, Robert D. Rowe and Donald M. Waldman 1. INTRODUCTION Southwestern Montana contains some of the most popular cold-water trout ﬁshing rivers and streams in the United States, such as Rock Creek, the Big Hole River, and the Madison River. However, among these trout ﬁshing jewels, a century of heavy metal releases from mining waste has completely eliminated trout from the 20-mile long Silver Bow Creek between Butte, Montana and the start of the upper Clark Fork River, and has signiﬁcantly reduced trout stocks in a 125-mile stretch of the upper Clark Fork River from its headwaters to Missoula (Lipton et al., 1995). The State of Montana ﬁled suit in 1983, under federal Superfund law and its state counterpart, against the Atlantic Richﬁeld Co. (ARCO), the current owners of the mining operations, for compensable damages and restoration costs for these recreational ﬁshing and other damages. The intent of the research presented here was to conduct a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to estimate the compensable damages to the anglers who ﬁsh the cold-water trout rivers and streams of southwestern Montana. This chapter summarizes the work of the economists working for the State of Montana, although space will not accommodate all of the details. For all of the speciﬁcs, see Morey et al. (1995). The economics assessment for ARCO was conducted by Desvousges...
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