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Identifying Real Avoided Costs to Key Stakeholders: Beavers and Farmers Mark Buckley ECONorthwest Ecosystem Services Workshop Portland,

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Presentation on theme: "Identifying Real Avoided Costs to Key Stakeholders: Beavers and Farmers Mark Buckley ECONorthwest Ecosystem Services Workshop Portland,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying Real Avoided Costs to Key Stakeholders: Beavers and Farmers Mark Buckley ECONorthwest Ecosystem Services Workshop Portland, OR July 8, 2013

2 Influential Valuation How can ecosystem service valuation most efficiently inform decision-making, influence outcomes? Tradeoffs facing stakeholders who influence outcomes – Financing – Political support – Private property management – Individual behaviors

3 Research questions Research Questions: What effects would beaver restoration have on a watershed? What are the socioeconomic demands for these effects? How much are these effects worth to society? Sorenson 2011

4 Escalante Basin background Source: The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, University of Southern Mississippi ClimateWizard. Retrieved on November 8, 2010 from High emissions scenario (IPCC A2), and 60 percent of models project a greater increase. Models showing greater increase expand the size of the darkest area.

5 Precipitation and volume Average Monthly Precipitation and Snowfall in Escalante ( ) Water Volume Flowing Through Basin Water accumulates in the winter Flows peak in late spring

6 Storage at Wide Hollow Reservoir Surface water

7 Beaver impacts Habitat and stream lengths suggest a potential for 1300 colonies in the basin, with beavers

8 Beaver density Dam Density Colony Density

9 Economic benefits of ecosystem services

10 Impact on water quantity Beaver activity could increase stream flow and volume in the Basin Beaver activity could also flatten the hydrograph, increasing the volume of water available during dry months

11 Water quantity value Value of Alternative Water Sources

12 Impact on sediment and water quality Potential Sediment Retention Provided by Beaver Water Temperature Pollutants (nitrogen, phosphates, fecal coliform, heavy metals)

13 Impact on land cover Average Impact of Beaver on Land Cover Total Potential Impact in Basin (Acres) Beaver activity could increase the total area of riparian habitat, wetlands, and aquatic habitat in the Basin

14 Quantified Total Annual Values Many other benefits identifiable but specific incremental value difficult to isolate

15 Valuation Implications Effective valuation means alignment with real scarcities Natural capital can provide equivalent benefits to built capital Avoided costs can be compelling and the most appropriate measure of welfare tradeoffs Escalante Report can be downloaded at Support from the Grand Canyon Trust and Walton Foundation Mark Buckley –


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