Document - Use and Economic Importance of the West Branch of the Farmington River


This report presents the results of a comprehensive study of the recreation users, use and economic benefits, economic impact on towns, and effects on nearby property values of the 14-mile Wild and Scenic segment of the West Branch of the Farmington River in west central Connecticut. The study was conducted in 2001 and 2002 and was a cooperative effort involving North Carolina State University, American Rivers, the National Park Service, the Farmington River Watershed Association and the Farmington River Coordinating Committee. The West Branch is estimated to receive 77,400 recreation visitors annually. Sixty percent of the visits are for fishing, 30% for tubing, and 8% for boating. Recreational river use generates an estimated annual economic impact of $3.63 million for the five river towns. This is an estimate of direct as well as the indirect and induced effects from user expenditures on the local economies. This economic impact is quite large considering the small area under consideration, its relatively rural character, and the fact that only 10% of visits involved overnight stays. The total economic benefit (consumer surplus) to recreational users was estimated to be $9.45 million. This represents the total social value of the river segment to users over and above what it costs them to visit. Overall, the results of this study indicate that this segment of the West Branch is providing the kinds of settings and experiences intended by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Based on the user responses and further study analyses, conserving and maintaining the quality of the river resources and natural environment along its shores are the most important things that river authorities can do to keep river benefits high.


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Filename - Use and Economic Importance of the West Branch of the Farmington River514.pdf

Size - 3.60MB

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