Review of “The Value of Improved Recreational Fishing from Reduced Acid Deposition in the Southern Appalachian Mountain Region” Abt Associates conducts a benefit transfer and estimates the value of recreational fishing (brook trout) improvements. The benefit transfer approach is used in order to avoid the time and expense of primary data collection. Two studies are relied upon. The first is a biological damage function regression model where brook trout population densities are related to acid pollution. The second is a travel cost demand model that relates trout fishing trips to brook trout populations. The results are reasonable given the limited scope of the quality improvement. I have a few comments about the analysis. p. 14 – Exhibit 3.3 should be Exhibit 4.3 p. 15 - The total number of fishing days per year per angler is assumed to be all trout days. This assumption will bias the aggregate WTP estimates upward. p. 18 – The number of angler trips is assumed constant with quality improvements. However, I believe that since the coefficient on the inclusive value in Ahn (1997) is significantly different from one, quality improvements will lead to increased participation and trips. p. 18 – The Ahn study is summarized in the third paragraph of Section 5. Since Ahn is mentioned earlier, it might make sense to move this paragraph to an earlier section of the report. p. 19 – Why is the choice set boundary defined as the average distance traveled rather than the maximum distance traveled (or something in between)? p. 19 – Exhibit 3.4 should be 5.1. p. 25, 26 - 90% or 95% confidence intervals or some other likely range of WTP should be constructed around WTP point estimates in Exhibit 5.3 and 5.4. p. 25 – Chestnut and Rowe is not in the reference list. p. 25 – The sentence “Estimates are expressed in year 2000 dollars but …” is not clear. p. 26 – Why label the benefits as “modest” before they are compared to costs? Also, since these are annual benefits, the sum of the annual benefits between 2010 and 2040 could be significant. p. 32 – Should one of the two brook trouts mentioned twice be brown trout? p. 39 - Do you mean the GDP deflator was used to adjust dollar values to 2000 values? p. 40 – A. Soeun, 1997 should be referenced as Ahn, 1997. A number of typos are located throughout the report.
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