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The New Economics of Outdoor Recreation

Edited by Nick Hanley, W. Douglass Shaw and Robert E. Wright

This innovative book presents a series of up-to-date analyses of the economics of outdoor recreation. The distinguished group of authors covers real-world recreation management issues and applies economic understanding to these problems. An extensive introduction by the editors details the historical background of economists’ interests in this subject, and reveals how economics can provide practical insights into improving how we manage our natural recreation areas.
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Chapter 2: Valuing Rock Climbing and Bouldering Access

Therese Grijalva and Robert P. Berrens


Therese Grijalva and Robert P. Berrens 1. INTRODUCTION Information on the economic benefits of recreational activities can assist public agencies in managing multiple uses on public lands (Loomis, 1993). For some common outdoor recreation activities, such as wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing, there are now numerous studies on relative nonmarket use values. These estimates have accumulated over the last three decades or more, and are now routinely incorporated in various policy and planning processes (Loomis, 1999; Rosenberger and Loomis, 2001). While outdoor rock climbing is a sport with considerable history, it is generally considered to have undergone significant growth in the last decade in the US and elsewhere. Due to the rapid increase in popularity, and associated concerns over congestion and site impacts, there have been a number of conflicts over rock climbing access at US federal and state parks. These concerns have resulted in various public agency actions and proposals, and have made rock climbing access a controversial issue in the 1990s (Cavlovic, 2000). While estimates of the nonmarket value of rock climbing can be an important informational input in addressing management conflicts and access issues, only a handful of published studies on the value of rock climbing exist (Shaw and Jakus, 1996; Hanley et al., 2001 and 2002; Grijalva et al., 2002a and b). This study uses the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to estimate the value of access to a particular type of rock climbing, known as ‘bouldering’, at Hueco Tanks Texas State...

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