Estimating proximity effects to wildfire fuels treatments on house prices in Cibola National Forest, New Mexico, USA

Ryan A. Fitch, Julie M. Mueller, James Meldrum, Christopher Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forested landscapes in the Western United States are subject to growing size and severity of wildfires, in part due to historical management strategies focusing on wildfire suppression. Forest restoration treatments and fuels reductions, including thinning and prescribed burning, can reduce the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Extensive restoration and fuels treatment efforts are underway across many areas in the Southwestern United States, including New Mexico. The tradeoff between amenity values provided by forested landscapes and the wildfire risk associated with forested landscapes is becoming increasingly important to understand as development in the wildland-urban interface increases. Understanding how house proximity, relative to forest restoration or fuels treatments, is capitalized into home sale prices can provide useful information about how individuals value forested landscapes that have been altered to reduce wildfire risk or severity. We use a Hedonic Property Model to estimate the average treatment effect of proximity to forest restoration or fuel treatments in New Mexico, United States. We use matching methods to estimate the average treatment effect of proximity to forest restoration. We find that proximity to the forest has a positive amenity value; however, proximity to recent forest restoration or fuel treatments results in a decrease in house sale prices. We combine the results of our two models and calculate that homes not within one kilometer of a treated forest and within one kilometer of Cibola National Forest sell for an average $73,626 premium. The average premium drops to $22,996 for homes within one kilometer of a forest that has been recently treated and within one kilometer of Cibola National Forest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104838
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Volume238
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Forest restoration
  • Hedonic property model
  • Matching
  • Non-market valuation
  • Wildfire fuel treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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