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Handbook on Contingent Valuation

Edited by Anna Alberini and James R. Kahn

The Handbook on Contingent Valuation is unique in that it focuses on contingent valuation as a method for evaluating environmental change. It examines econometric issues, conceptual underpinnings, implementation issues as well as alternatives to contingent valuation. Anna Alberini and James Kahn have compiled a comprehensive and original reference volume containing invaluable case studies that demonstrate the implementation of contingent valuation in a wide variety of applications. Chapters include those on the history of contingent valuation, a practical guide to its implementation, the use of experimental approaches, an ecological economics perspective on contingent valuation and approaches for developing nations.
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Chapter 9: Designing a Contingent Valuation Study to Estimate the Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program on Grassland Bird Populations

Mary Clare Ahearn, Kevin J. Boyle and Daniel R. Hellerstein


9 Designing a contingent valuation study to estimate the benefits of the conservation reserve program on grassland bird populations1 Mary Clare Ahearn, Kevin J. Boyle and Daniel R. Hellerstein2 9.1 Introduction Wildlife biologists have expressed concern about declining populations of grassland bird species, and loss of habitats is generally cited as the major reason for their decline. The major historical grassland area of the US is in the heartland, where agriculture dominates the landscape. Over time, farms and farm fields have been established and consolidated, leaving less undisturbed habitat. While agricultural activities may be detrimental to some species, other species may benefit from the habitat and food sources provided by agricultural lands. However, the majority of grassland bird species appear to be declining. Data from the Breeding Bird Survey, which tracks the populations of 431 species in North America, reveal that only 23 per cent (between 1966 and 1998) of grassland bird species populations increased. The comparable rate for all bird species combined indicates that 52 per cent increased (Sauer et al., 1999). In Fiscal year 1996, the Federal government spent $6.7 billion on resource conservation and related programs affecting agriculture (USDA/ERS, 1997). The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the major conservation program of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), costing $1.8 billion in fiscal year, 1996. The CRP pays farmland owners to retire their environmentally sensitive lands from agricultural production for periods of 10 or 15 years. CRP enrollment represents about 7 per cent of the...

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