Date of Award

Spring 6-7-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Geri Mason

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Jennifer Meredith

Keywords

travel-cost analysis, hunting, elk, environmental economics, recreation

Abstract

This study will attempt to establish an estimate of willingness to pay for elk hunted in Western Washington, with the intent of informing policymakers on the potential economic benefit of elk hunting in the state. The research uses travel cost analysis to estimate variable cost associated with hunting, and controls for macroeconomic fluctuations in hunting demand as well as quality metrics for the specific GMUs in question. The study found that expected willingness to pay for an elk hunting trip in 2013-2015 was approximately $140, which is a lower-bound estimation of expenditures and hunter utility. The study’s findings support the notion that improvements to hunting quality could generate large economic returns for rural areas of Washington State.

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