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Ecosystem services -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Forest Park (Portland, Or.), Natural resources -- Oregon -- Management, Wilderness areas -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area -- Recreational use


Using the travel cost method, this study estimates the per-trip value and total annual value of recreational visits to Portland’s Forest Park. Based on the opportunity cost of visitors’ time and the estimated costs of travel, we derive a demand function for visits to Forest Park on the assumption that visitors value their trips to Forest Park at least as highly as the alternative uses of their time and money. The Portland Parks and Recreation Department supplied survey data for 2277 Forest Park visitors, of which we use 1626 observations.

We find that a truncated negative binomial regression best fits the data. This regression indicates an average value per visit of $240 and an annual value of $31 million, though we note some limitations that may have biased this figure upwards. Additional results include a summary of visitor activities, durations and a profile of the socioeconomic statuses of Forest Park visitors. Finally, we recommend that future research implement a contingent valuation method to corroborate and improve the validity of our estimates.


Prepared for: The Forest Park Conservancy.

Edited by Joe Mitchell-Nelson and Peter Schaffer.

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