Economics Research Institute Study Paper
Utah State University Department of Economics
Total and use-related willingness to pay for wilderness designation and for maintaining currently proposed wilderness areas in open-access multiple use was determined for rural and urban residents of Utah using dichotomous choice contingent valuation. The hypothesis that the wilderness controversy is a rural/urban issue was only partially borne out. Supporters and opponents of wilderness designation appeared to have similar mean WTP estimates for both total and use values; however, a higher proportion of rural residents were opposed to wilderness designation. Comparisons of total values suggested that the sample-weighted WTP of opponents to wilderness was greater than the weighted WTP of supporters, although results were statistically weak. Sample-weighted use values for urban respondents were larger for supporters than opponents, while the opposite was true for rural respondents. Finally, a log-linear estimation procedure was tested and was found to yield theoretically inconsistent results.
Keith, John E.; Fawson, Christopher; and Johnson, Van, "Wilderness Designation in Utah: Urban and Rural Willingness to Pay" (1996). Economic Research Institute Study Papers. Paper 90.