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Analysis and Economic Valuation of Off Highway Vehicle Use in Southwestern Alberta, Canada Open Access


Other title
Revealed Preference
Stated Preference
Count Model
Economic assessment
Off Highway Vehicle
New Ecological Paradigm
Random Utility Model
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Prescott, Sarah G
Supervisor and department
Adamowicz, Wiktor (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Boxall, Peter (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Luckert, Martin (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Silins, Uldis (Renewable Resources)
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Outdoor recreation is an important and yet often undervalued land use. Measurement of the economic value of outdoor recreation, assessment of the impacts of land uses on these values, and incorporation of this information into land use decisions can be useful in assessing land use tradeoffs. This research used a travel cost approach to investigate the characteristics and staging area preferences of off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders, and the economic impacts of logging on OHV riders, near the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta. OHVs in this study included dirt-bikes, all terrain vehicles, side-by-sides, and highway vehicles that are driven off-highway. Information about the trip frequency and location of OHV riders, in addition to demographic, socio-economic, and land use preference and value information was collected through both an onsite survey and a follow-up survey. A random effects negative binomial count model was used to estimate a consumer surplus value for an average OHV trip of $258. This value was robust to a variety of sensitivity analyses. The total benefit of OHV riding in the area to OHV riders over the summer and fall months is estimated at $2.8 million dollars. In addition, the results of a stated preference component of the count model show that local OHV riders do not feel crowded in the area. Many more OHV riders could start to use the area before a sense of congestion would cause OHV riders to reduce the number of trips they take to the area. A random utility model (RUM) of staging area choices of OHV riders was also estimated. Riders were significantly affected by the travel cost, total length of OHV trails nearby, and the range of elevation that can be travelled using the nearby trails. No measured variables that were related to the logging history of the area contributed significantly to staging area choices of OHV riders. Several scenarios examining the effect of changes to the availability of nearby trail length of the examined staging areas were examined. The welfare effects of access changes to staging areas along the Highway 3 Corridor were more than five times larger than the effect of similar changes to other staging areas.
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