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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 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 and Robert D. Rowe


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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