Multiple-use management of forest recreation sites: a spatially explicit choice experiment

Author(s): Horne P, Boxall PC, Adamowicz WL


This study examined visitors’ preferences for forest management at five adjacent municipal recreation sites in Finland, using a spatially explicit choice experiment. The study design accounted for changes in scenery and biodiversity indices in the forest environment resulting from forest management practices. Respondents were asked to choose their preferred management option from alternative management regimes for the sites. The options were characterized by different levels of attributes, which included site-specific species richness levels and forest scenery, costs of management, and indicators of species richness levels over the system of recreation sites. Results show that visitors have a strong preference for the preservation of species richness and for scenic beauty. However, when there is a trade-off between these benefits, visitors chose their favourite scenery at their favourite recreation site and prefer management options, which preserve biodiversity at the other sites in the recreation system. The study shows how modelling the sites as independent units of the forest management regime permit policy-relevant conclusions to be drawn regarding the specialisation and zoning of multiple-use objectives. The approach also allows for the development of hypothetical management scenarios and estimation of respective economic welfare changes for visitors from these scenarios.

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