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Balancing industrial and recreational use of forests: A review of empirical studies
Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2008 (English)In: CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, Vol. 3, 027-035 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The value of the forest and how it should be utilized is the subject of a heated debate. The objective of this study is to review the literature on the benefits and costs of forest conservation and the adaptations of forest management practices, to improve the forest landscape for recreation. The overview focuses mainly on studies in the Nordic countries published in the last 15 years. The benefit studies provide distinct conclusions regarding the preferences of recreational users: they tend to prefer old growth rather than young forests, and favour a mixture of conifers and broadleaves over a pure conifer stand. On the cost side, there seems to be a consensus that forest conservation for recreation or biodiversity purposes has an opportunity cost in terms of foregone timber revenues. However, there is no evidence from the reviewed studies that such a conservation policy would hamper economic growth in the regions that are directly subject to the policy. On the contrary, there is some evidence that conservation can have a positive effect on local economies, mostly the result of an economic diversification towards tourism and commercial recreation. Overall, there is a striking lack of connection between the benefits and costs of forest conservation. Very few benefit studies make the extra effort to estimate the cost of the changes in forest management that the respondents in the non-market valuation studies are asked to value. Thus, one suggestion for future research is to improve the use of various methods in practical applications to ensure that guidance is comprehensive for policy decision-making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 3, 027-035 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26893OAI: diva2:274639
Available from: 2009-10-30 Created: 2009-10-30 Last updated: 2013-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Bostedt, GöranBrännlund, Runar
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