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Appendix B Sources of Physical and Valuation Data on Natural Resources and the Environment Currently, substantial monitoring of physical flows and valuation of certain important resource and environmental assets and service flows within the United States are undertaken in conjunction with existing regulatory analysis and enforcement or as part of the activities of federal resource management agencies. These efforts include those of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Forest Service, the National Agricultural Statistical Service, the United States Geological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and other private and governmental organizations. For management and analysis purposes, valuation estimates have also been developed for some nonmarket goods and environmental effects. Table B-1 lists several existing studies of resource and recreational values for the United States, while Table B-2 provides important sources for natural-resource assets and recreational activity data.
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TABLE B-1 Natural-Resource and Environmental Value Estimates Source Method/Unit/Level of Detail Activities Valued Value of Human Health U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1997) 21 labor market estimates and 5 contingent valuation studies Mortality ($4.8 million per statistical life) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1997) Willingness-to-pay studies or cost of illness Chronic bronchitis, ischemic heart disease, shortness of breath, acute bronchitis (ranges from $260,000 per case for chronic bronchitis to $5.30 per day for shortness of breath) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1997) Labor market studies Work-loss days ($83 per day) Surface Water Quality Ribaudo and Piper (1991) Recreation demand model National recreational fishing benefits from reduced sediment pollution Carson and Mitchell (1993) Contingent valuation method Willingness to pay to improve the nation's water quality from nonboatable status to swimmable status Wetlands Hoehn and Loomis (1993), Phillips et al. (1993), and Lant and Roberts (1990) Contingent valuation method Protection of wetlands and wildlife habitat and water quality, and quantity decrements to nonconverted wetlands Groundwater Quality Sun et al. (1992) Contingent valuation method Keeping groundwater quality below EPA health advisory levels in southwestern Georgia Jordan and Elnagheeb (1993) Contingent valuation method Protection from nitrate contamination of groundwater serving wells and drinking water utilities in Georgia
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Source Method/Unit/Level of Detail Activities Valued Recreation U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Hay, 1988) Contingent valuation/user day/state by state Deer, elk, and waterfowl hunting; bass fishing; and nonconsumptive uses U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Waddington et al., 1994) Contingent valuation/user day/state by state Deer hunting, bass and trout fishing, and wildlife watching U.S. Forest Service (McCollum et al., 1990) Travel cost model/trips/nine regions Camping, swimming, hiking, viewing, hunting, picnicking, sightseeing, gathering products U.S. Department of Agriculture (Ribaudo, 1989) Travel cost model/trips/ten regions Improvements to surface water use (fishing) from reductions in soil erosion U.S. Forest Service (Sorg and Loomis, 1984) Travel cost model and contingent valuation/user day/selected states Various activities, including fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, hiking, boating, picnicking, water sports, and nature viewing Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (Walsh et al., 1988) Travel cost model and contingent valuation/user day/selected states Various activities, including fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, hiking, boating, picnicking, water sports, and nature viewing U.S. Forest Service (Bergstrom et al., 1996) Travel cost model/user day/ten regions Hiking, rafting, boating, cycling, picnicking, sightseeing, water-skiing, swimming, skiing, and hunting (20 activities total) Biota Loomis and White (1996) Contingent valuation/animal species Willingness to pay to protect 18 threatened and endangered species
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TABLE B-2 Sources of Physical Data on the Environment and Natural Resources Resource/Source Source/Comments Timber Resource Planning Act (RPA) Under the Resource Planning Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service conducts renewable resource inventories of forest lands and collects statistics on forest products. These data are used to identify trends in extent, condition, ownership, quantity, and quality of timber and other forest resources. Fish The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collects and publishes data on the volume and value of commercial fish and shellfish landings, the catch by recreational fishermen, employment of people and craft in the fisheries, number of recreational fishermen, production of manufactured fishery products, and fishery prices. Land Quality National Resources Inventory The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service conducts a survey every 5 years—the National Resources Inventory—to determine conditions and trends in the use of soil, water, and related resources nationwide and statewide. The National Resources Inventory is an inventory of land cover and use, soil erosion, prime farmland, wetlands, and other natural-resource characteristics on nonfederal rural land in the United States. Air Quality National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) examines air pollution trends of each of the six principal pollutants in the United States. A yearly EPA document—the National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report—gives an analysis of changes in air pollution levels plus a summary of current air pollution status. Water Quality National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress The EPA publishes the National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress, which summarizes water quality information submitted by 61
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Resource Source/Comments entities, including states, American Indian tribes, territories, interstate water commissions, and the District of Columbia. The report characterizes water quality in the United States, identifies widespread water quality problems of national significance, and describes various programs implemented to restore and protect water quality. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) collects information on the quality of ground and surface waters. During the past 30 years, the USGS has operated two national stream water quality networks—the Hydrologic Benchmark Network and the National Stream Quality Accounting Network. The data have been used to describe and quantify water quality trends. Water Use USGS compiles and publishes data on water use. The latest publication, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 1990, describes water use by major water-use categories. For each category, there is a description of where the water comes from, what the water is used for, and where it goes after use. Wetlands The U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a National Wetlands Inventory to measure changes in wetlands. Changes are measured in acres and reported in Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States, required by Congress at 10-year intervals. Biota The National Biological Survey (NBS) researches and monitors trends in contaminant residue levels in birds and fish by geographic location. The NBS annual bird-banding program is conducted to determine the distribution, mortality, and survival of migratory game and nongame species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts an annual survey to monitor waterfowl, dove, and woodcock populations and waterfowl harvests. Climate The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center is to manage global climatological data and information.
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Resource Source/Comments Human Health National Center for Health Statistics The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCHS is the federal government's principal vital and health statistics agency and provides a variety of data, including data on vital events, health status, lifestyle, exposure to unhealthy influences, onset and diagnosis of illness and disability, and use of health care. Recreation The Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Survey National survey conducted every 5 years. It covers wildlife-associated recreation. It provides good information on private expenditures and mediocre information on site choice. The National Survey of Recreation and the Environment National survey conducted approximately every 10 years. A variety of outdoor recreational activities are covered. Some information on expenditures and site choice is provided. State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan State-specific surveys. Most states have such a plan since they are a prerequisite for receiving federal land acquisition monies. They are primarily an inventory of facilities and projected use levels and are of varied quality (the better ones contain county-level breakdowns). Public Area Recreation Visitors Study/Customer Use and Survey Techniques for Operations, Management, Evaluation, and Research Ongoing on-site surveys of U.S. Forest Service sites. Some information on expenditures is provided, along with good information on site choice. The U.S. Forest Service's Recreation Reporting Information System Yearly totals of the number of visitors to national forests. Some breakdown by activity is included. Proprietary databases A variety of subjects. For example, Hagler Baily Consultants has a database on water quality benefits.
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