Page 11 1— Support for Environmental Policy Decisions This chapter illustrates the range of environmental and natural resource questions for which information on economic values of outdoor recreation can assist in making better decisions. By showing the range of questions policymakers face, we also demonstrate the importance of finding good data and assembling useful models to produce that information. We draw our examples principally from US experience, because environmental policy and legislation appear to be most advanced in that country. The first section describes the economic framework of benefitcost analysis, which is a highly structured and welldeveloped method for organizing information that supports the formulation of policy. The next section shows the kinds of environmental and natural resource policy decisions for which values of outdoor recreation are needed. These decisions are made by both the public and private sectors. The third section describes how recreation value information can help parks and recreation administrators who practise 'benefitsbasedmanagement' to formulate, implement and evaluate their programs better. The fourth section shows how recreation demand analysis can be used for forecasting demand for recreation and recreation facilities. The final section concludes with a discussion of the challenges placed on methods that attempt to estimate economic values of outdoor recreation, if those methods are to produce the kind of information that environmental and natural resource policy analysts need most. The Economic Framework The design of institutions or mechanisms for resource allocation that meets society's objectives has confronted individuals and governments since...
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