Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance


John E. Keith


Since 1964, when Congress wrote the Wilderness Act, there has been an increasing amount of controversy between opponents and advocates of wilderness. Wilderness areas in Utah are not immune to this controversy. Public policy makers and land managers are in the middle of this debate. They have the responsibility to assess the resource and estimate the benefits and costs associated with creating policy.

This thesis focusses on helping policy makers and land managers recognize a benefit currently not being assessed. Nonuse values are values other than in situ use, where individuals have a value for existence of wilderness or a bequesting value for future generations. If these values exist, current policy would underestimate the benefits.

The results of this thesis revealed Utah citizens have a value for wilderness designation other than in situ use value, with estimation by contingent valuation.

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Economics Commons