Landowner Willingness to Accept Monetary Compensation for Managing Forests for Ecosystem Services in the Southern United States

Ram K. Adhikari, Robert K. Grala, Daniel R. Petrolia, Stephen C. Grado, Donald L. Grebner, Anusha Shrestha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accuracy of welfare estimates in the contingent valuation model is affected by the distributional specifications of the willingness-to-accept function, especially when unsure responses are included. An improved method was implemented to estimate four discrete choice models by exponentiating the bid variable. It was found that landowners required an average compensation of $93 per acre per year to partake in a 10-year conservation program. The likelihood of participation increased with the payment amount, concern for wildlife habitat loss, frequent contact with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and higher education level. This data will assist in determining regional-level budgets for different conservation scenarios to enhance the production of ecosystem services. The study suggests that conservation agencies can reduce landowner uncertainty and encourage enrollment in conservation programs by offering adequate financial incentives. While similar compensations can be provided for certain conservation efforts, higher compensations might be needed for protecting forests from wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Funding should prioritize conserving critical habitats and freshwater sources vulnerable to land disturbances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-144
Number of pages17
JournalForest Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus Subject Areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling


  • bottomland hardwood forest
  • contingent valuation method
  • habitat type
  • landowner uncertainty
  • southern pine

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