AN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES VALUATION OF
PRIVATE FOREST LANDS IN PIERCE COUNTY, WASHINGTON
Forests are among Pierce County's most valuable natural assets, supporting clean water and air, bolstering climate stability, and sustaining local communities. But as the pressure to develop forest lands in Pierce County increases, so does the risk that the critical services provided by forest lands will be lost. While the forest lands owned and maintained by the state and federal governments are likely to stay intact, privately owned forests are at the greatest risk of converting into developed areas to accommodate Pierce Counties growing population.
This report values some of the ecosystem goods and services provided by privately owned forest lands in Pierce County. The analysis reveals that privately held forest lands provide between $259 million and $942 million worth of ecosystem services every year. In present terms, these lands are valued between $26 billion and $94 billion when considering a 100-year timeframe. While ensuring these lands are not subject to conversion will protect the value of services they provide, this report also examines how specific forestry practices can impact the value of services provided by forests.
Suggested Citation: Van Deren, M., Cousins, K., Kerr, N., Soares, J. 2018. The Public Benefits of Private Forests: An Ecosystem Services Valuation of Private Forest Lands in Pierce County, Washington. Earth Economics. Tacoma, WA.
Funding provided by the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation.