The Northern Spotted Owl is an endangered species that requires old-growth forests in southwest mainland British Columbia for its survival. Policies to save the owl focus on habitat preservation and include trade-offs between removing old-growth forests from timber harvesting allocations, and preservation of an animal with no direct market value. The majority of forests are public land and determining the proper trade-offs requires knowledge of the general public’s preferences. Existence values for the Spotted Owl may be confounded with their habitat (i.e. old-growth forests), or other old-growth dependent species at risk, where the old-growth forests can exist without these species, but not vice versa. This study uses a stated preference, multi-attribute, trade-off approach to measure these values separately, but in the context of each other. Risk (success of conservation) is also included into the valuation. The study surveyed the general public of the Lower Mainland using a web-based format.
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