Canadian Forest Service Publications

Economic value of wilderness protection and recreation in British Columbia. 1995. Reid, R.; Stone, M.; Whiteley, T. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Working Paper WP-6-012, copublished by the BC Ministry of Forests.

Year: 1995

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4246

Language: English

Series: Working Paper WP (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


A province wide mail survey was undertaken in April 1993 to determine provincial residents' views about wilderness issues and the values they place on protecting wilderness and participating in wilderness recreation. The survey questionnaire was sent in early 1993 to a random sample of 3,000 households spread throughout British Columbia. Respondents were asked in the form of a referendum like question how much more taxes and fees their households would be willing to pay for a change in the quantity of protected wilderness. It is estimated that provincial households would be willing to pay between $108 and $130, on average, annually in increased taxes and fees for a doubling of designated wilderness, representing a total annual value of between $138 and $166 million (1992 dollars). About 16% of provincial residents eighteen years of age and years visited a wilderness area in 1992, representing about 410,000 provincial residents. Participants in wilderness recreation spent an average of $218 per wilderness trip, or about $50 per day. The results of the survey show that the protection and use of wilderness is very important to the people of British Columbia. The economic values of wilderness need to be taken into account in planning processes that consider increases in designated wilderness.