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Title: Measuring environmental value in nonmonetary terms : a review of common practices and elements
Authors: Institute for Water Resources (U.S.)
Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (U.S.)
Cole, Richard A.
Keywords: Ecosystem restoration
Ecosystem management
Environmental management
Environmental restoration
Environmental quality (EQ)
Environmental value
Natural heritage value
Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (U.S.)
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL CR ; 14-1.
Description: Contract Report
Abstract: This review was undertaken to address concerns raised by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) regarding the value of projects authorized to improve environmental quality. Value gained from present resource use can typically be measured in monetary terms. More controversial -- and prohibited by Corps policy -- is the monetary measurement of the nonuse value gained by deferring present-day use in favor of leaving a heritage for future generations. Environmental value is commonly indicated by the objectives of government legislation and by non-government mission statements and bylaws. The value added by objective achievement is indicated by many different, incomparable metrics, which often do not differentiate use value from nonuse value. The Corps is an exception because Federal policy requires water resources agencies to quantify benefits and costs in monetary terms when acceptable and in non-monetary terms when monetary measurement is not acceptable. This includes heritage value recognized as important by the Corps in key environmental legislation, and by certain conservation NGOs. Key elements of natural heritage value include resource security from extinction, resource distinctiveness, risk of investment failure, and costs. These elements may provide a basis for comprehensively indicating the value added by ecosystem restoration done by the Corps.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Contract Report

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