An economic analysis of landowners' willingness to adopt wetland riparian conservation management : a Saskatchewan case study
Public recognition of the value of wetlands has risen quickly over the past 25 years and numerous policies and programs have been developed to address threats to the quantity and quality of wetlands. However, management of wetland resources located on private land often involves a perceived conflict between social and private interests since landowners usually cannot benefit economically from keeping wetlands on site unless they convert them to alternative uses such as agricultural crops. In order to avoid further degradation and ensure the various environmental benefits wetlands provide, there is a need for government intervention by delivering effective policies. This will be realized through an effective economic valuation process for wetland benefits. This thesis investigates wetland and riparian zones management, with greater emphasis placed on the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Saskatchewan where the majority of the land is privately owned. Using data from a survey of landowners, the perceived cost of conserving wetland and associated riparian zones is quantified through their willingness to accept (WTA) compensation for a proposed 10-year economic incentive-based program. In addition, the role of landowner and farm characteristics on this perceived cost of conservation has also been assessed. As indicated by the results from two probit models that were developed, per acre payment has a significant positive effect on the probability a landowner will accept the program offer; the average payment respondents required being $32.58/acre. Other factors such as the landowner’s previous experience dealing with the wetland, personal preferences correlated with economic benefits and landowners who have an heir to take over the farm are also found to have significant impact on their participation decision. For those respondents who did not complete the WTA question, past relative experience, knowledge about wetlands, age, and the agricultural region the farm is located are revealed to be factors that affect to the provision of an explicit answer.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeEdwards, Cynthia; Nolan, James; Hesseln, Hayley
Copyright DateJune 2009
Willingness to Accept
Wetland and riparian zones