Policy development to support ecosystem services on pasture systems in Saskatchewan
Ingram, Shawn 1993-
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The purpose of this research is to investigate acceptable and cost-effective policy tools to increase the provision of ecosystem services on Saskatchewan grasslands. Due to the voluntary nature of grassland conservation programs, these programs are only effective at increasing ecosystem services and environmental quality if private ranchers and landowners find the programs acceptable and opt-in to the programs. Therefore the goal of this thesis is to investigate acceptable policy parameters, including a cost-effective economic incentive to support producer participation, to aid in the development of potential grassland conservation programs. To accomplish this a survey was developed and administered to Saskatchewan ranchers to examine their opinions and attitudes regarding policy structures, ecosystem services, grassland management practices, and opportunity costs related to participating in conservation programs. An interval estimation approach was used to estimate the mean and median willingness-to-accept (WTA) of Saskatchewan ranchers for an acceptable participation incentive to compensate for a 10% loss in opportunity costs from participating in a conservation program. The results indicated that the mean WTA among the sample population for participating in a conservation program and incurring a 10% loss in opportunity costs was between $34.83 and $42.58 per acre. Extrapolating these results suggest that the mean WTA per 1% increase in opportunity costs incurred was between $3.48 and $4.26 per acre to participate in a conservation program. Additional results and findings from the survey that could also aid in policy development to increase ecosystem services on grasslands are also presented in the thesis.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAgricultural and Resource Economics
CommitteeBelcher, Ken; Hesseln, Hayley; Skolrud, Tristan; Patterson, John
Copyright DateMay 2019