The Mat-Su in 2040—What Would Residents Like to See?

Residents of the Mat-Su Borough north of Anchorage say they would be willing to pay substantial amounts for actions that help protect things that drew them to the area in the first place—including salmon streams, local farmland, and opportunities for recreation and hunting. That’s the main finding of a recent survey ISER economist Tobias Schwörer conducted of borough residents.

The survey asked respondents to choose among different hypothetical future land-use and development alternatives, with different costs assigned to each alternative. By their choices, the respondents put dollar values on actions that would help protect non-market resources, like healthy salmon runs and public easements for hiking or snowmachine trails. These dollar amounts are hypothetical—no one was actually asked to pay anything—but they are still important measures of what borough residents value and consider worth paying for.

The survey was done for The Nature Conservancy, with funding from the Bullitt Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To read the 4-page summary of survey results, click here, and to see technical documentation of the survey and analysis of data, click here. For more information, get in touch with Tobias Schwörer at tschwoerer@alaska.edu.

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