American Society of Civil Engineers

Benefit and Cost Analysis: Western Threatened & Endangered Fish Critical Habitats

by Earl R. Ekstrand, (Economics Group, Technical Service Center, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO 80225) and John Loomis, (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523)
Section: Economics and the Colorado River, pp. 1-11, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: WRPMD’99: Preparing for the 21st Century
Abstract: A current project has estimated national economic benefits for preserving threatened and endangered (T&E) fish species on the Colorado Plateau in the Four Corners Region of the U.S. These species are affected by Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) activities and BOR has ongoing projects to preserve these species. Also, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated critical habitat for them. Values for U.S. households were estimated by incorporating respondent uncertainty into the model. However, in the past, little effort has been made to compare these benefits with the costs that are incurred to protect the species and habitat. It is assumed by researchers and society that the benefits will exceed costs but no effort is made to test this assumption. This research examines the national costs along with the regional costs for preserving these species and habitat and compare those costs to the benefits to determine the benefit/cost ratio.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Aquatic habitats
Bureau of Reclamation
Endangered species