Investing in Natural Capital: Using Economic Incentives to Overcome Barriers to Forest Restoration

Tong Wu, Yeon Su Kim, Matthew D. Hurteau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A legacy of fire suppression and the impacts of climate change have induced a worsening pattern of large and severe forest fires across the western United States. This has spurred action to jump-start wildfire risk mitigation initiatives. Despite an increase in resources and attention, the persistence of economic impediments has forestalled the successful expansion of forest restoration to a landscape level. The failure to properly account for the full range of costs and benefits from restoration treatments has contributed to the asymmetry between needed action and actual implementation. The valuation of non-market ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, along with the ability of ecological restoration to act as an agent of economic stimulus, should be incorporated into the policymaking process. We demonstrate how institutionalizing the economic benefits from both the process and products of forest restoration can strengthen policies for advancing long-term forest health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-445
Number of pages5
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Carbon
  • Economics
  • Ecosystem services
  • Wildfires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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