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The Contribution of Amenities to Landowner Income: Cases in Spanish and Californian Hardwood Rangelands

AuthorsOviedo Pro, José Luis ; Huntsinger, Lynn; Campos Palacín, Pablo
KeywordsCapital gains
Contingent valuation
Income accounting
Issue Date2017
Society for Range Management
CitationRangeland Ecology and Management 70(4): 518-528 (2017)
AbstractRangeland economists have noted that people tend to pay far more for ranches and rangelands than can be justified by the potential income from livestock operations alone. This gap in price can be explained when the value of the amenity benefits from owning a ranch and the capital gains from the rangeland investment are integrated as part of the “income” accruing to the landowner. In this paper, we apply an accounting framework that takes such values into account, the Agroforestry Accounting System, to three hardwood rangeland case studies in Andalucía (southern Spain) and three in California. We estimate how commercial operations, private amenities consumed by the landowner, and capital gains contribute to landowner income and rangeland investment profitability in these case studies. Results show that private amenity consumption and capital gains make the greatest contribution to landowner income. When these income components are included in the estimations, total real profitability ranges from 2.7% to 4.5% in the Spanish cases and from 4.5% to 7.8% in the California cases, rates that are competitive with alternative investments. Our results suggest that conservation programs may be strengthened by enhancing or building on amenity benefits to landowners, motivating them to engage in and continue with these programs. In addition, landowner willingness to pay for amenities may increase the cost-efficiency of programs that would enhance the provision of these, or of closely related, amenities.
Publisher version (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1550742417300209
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