TCM is a method for valuing the environmental and built resources that complement outdoor recreational activities. It is based on an idea originally proposed by Harold Hotelling in 1947, an idea which has shown remarkable insight and staying power. We reproduce Hotelling's letter to the National Park Service in full, in view of its historical interest and the fact that we have not seen it reproduced in full elsewhere (Prewitt, 1949). THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS CHAPEL HILL DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL STATISTICS June 18, 1947 Mr. Newton B. Drury, Director National Park Service Department Of the Interior Washington 25, D.C. Dear Mr. Drury: After a letter from Mr. A. E. Demaray, and a conference with Dr. Roy A. Pruitt of the National Park Service, I am convinced that it is possible to set up appropriate measures for evaluating, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, the service of national parks to the public. The development of criteria for evaluating benefits to the public has been a longterm interest of mine. Following the example set a hundred years ago by the French engineer, Jules Dupuit, who wrote formulae for the benefits of roads, bridges, and canals, I have worked out more general formulae for benefits from wider and more complicated classes of public services. These formulae, of course, involve coefficients which must, in each case, be determined by factual statistical studies. The development of such studies I believe to be possible through several modes of attack which Dr...
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