Funded Research Projects: FOREST ECOLOGY

Measuring Outcomes of Habitat Acquisitions and Regulations

Research Sponsored By: Washington State Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee
Principal Investigator: Joshua Lawler
Project Description
The Washington State Legislature has asked for a comparison of the relative benefits to wildlife habitat provided by recent state land acquisitions to those provided by land-use regulations. “Acquisitions” are properties and easements purchased through the following state programs: the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program, Puget Sound Estuary and Restoration Program, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, State Parks and Recreation Commission, Trust Land Transfer program, and the Natural Areas Program. Potential regulations to assess in the study include: growth management regulations regarding critical areas, wetland restrictions, shoreline management rules, forest practices regulations, the Hydraulic Project Approval program, the Clean Water Act, and flood plain management. We will produce such a comparison using spatial data layers of land acquisitions and the footprint of land-use regulations. To explore the benefits provided by land acquisitions, we will use one or more counterfactuals that assumes some rate of land conversion in the absence of acquisition.