Willingness to pay for forest restoration as a function of proximity and viewshed

Julie M. Mueller, Abraham E. Springer, Ryan E. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


While numerous studies investigate the non-market value of wildfire suppression and ecological restoration, less research exists examining the spatial dimension of Willingness to Pay (WTP) for forest restoration, including distance to restoration and changes in viewshed. We estimate WTP for forest restoration in Flagstaff, AZ, US (pop. 70,000) using dichotomous-choice Contingent Valuation. Flagstaff, AZ is in a high-altitude, arid region in the Southwestern US surrounded by publicly managed forests with views of mountain peaks. Large-scale forest restoration is proposed within proximity to Flagstaff's city limits. We explicitly model distance to potential treatment area as a determinant of WTP to examine the impact of distance to forest restoration. We further incorporate viewshed into our WTP estimates by controlling for whether a respondent has a mountain peak view. After controlling for viewshed, we find policy-relevant results associated with distance and viewshed. WTP increases as distance to proposed treatment area decreases. However, holding distance constant, respondents with prime mountain peak views are less likely to be WTP for forest restoration. Our results indicate that careful consideration of the complex relationship between distance, viewshed, and WTP is necessary for efficient restoration management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Bayesian estimation
  • Contingent valuation
  • Forest restoration
  • Viewshed
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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