Farmland LP mentioned in Nori Podcast


Farmland LP mentioned in Nori Podcast

Ryan Anderson, Strategy Lead with the Delta Institute, joined Nori podcasts’ Ross and Christophe to discuss the principles of ecological economics and the debate around financializing ecosystem services. He describes his work with The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), sharing its successes and failures and explaining what Nori can learn from his experience with the project. Listen in for Ryan’s advice to impact investors on diversifying their portfolios with farmland and learn about the Delta Institute’s recent report on valuing the ecosystem service benefits of regenerative agriculture practices.


Earth Economics Presents at National Recreation and Park Association Innovation Lab


Earth Economics Presents at National Recreation and Park Association Innovation Lab

The Miami Dade Parks Department, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, is hosting the 2019 NRPA Innovation Lab on Resiliency January 16-18, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  Research Analyst, Jordan Wildish, from Earth Economics will participate in  “The Resilience Landscape – A National Perspective” panel discussion January 17th to discuss opportunities for parks planning and development to include ecosystem service value considerations. The audience will be park professionals from across the country.


Here’s What Agriculture of the Future Looks Like: The Multiple Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Quantified


Here’s What Agriculture of the Future Looks Like:
The Multiple Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Quantified

“At the Union of Concerned Scientists, we have long advocated agricultural systems that are productive and better for the environment, the economy, farmers, farmworkers and eaters than the dominant industrial system. We refer to such a system as our Healthy Farm vision. Based on comprehensive science, we have specified that healthy farm systems must be multifunctional, biodiverse, interconnected and regenerative.”


Heroes Surround Us.


A Reflection on My Summer Fellowship.

By Anna Ganu
Future Leader Fellow, Earth Economics


Heroes surround us. The staff at Earth Economics are like those hidden heroes working behind the scenes to protect our precious natural resources in ways many will never know. Their hidden lair is tucked between two small buildings in Tacoma, so unassuming that if you walked by, you would not even see it. Inside works a team of hidden heroes, hailing from all fields and backgrounds, individuals who possess courage, selflessness, humility, patience, and care for the environment. 

Working for Earth Economics was far more than just a job, and right away I was able to sense that from everyone. They do what they do because they love it, and I aspire to work someday in an environment like that. One of my favorite things about the office is the weekly staff meetings. The meetings opened up conversations around what others are working on during the week as well as opening the floor up for interns like me to present my findings and interests. The most amazing thing, however, is that I was able to experience what it feels like to be seated together among different individuals that brought such diverse expertise and connections to the table. The collaboration among them is the definition of a team. No one ever felt alone on a project, because if they ever needed help or additional support, they could look around the table at a room full of people willing to help. 

As I start my sophomore year of college with the mindset that I am going to get a degree as an expert in biology, I have been faced with this uncertainty of not knowing what I was going to put that degree toward. I knew that many use their degree as a foundation to later enter into a medical program or to continue on as a lab researcher; but as great as those professions are, I did not see myself following either of those paths. Working at Earth Economics has shown me that there are no limits on how and where I can apply my degree. And, most importantly, I know I can have a job that I really love. 

Every week, I learned something new, and as I became comfortable, I began to explore more things for myself and ask questions. I was blessed to work with four intelligent women (Angela, Corrine, Cheri, and Jessie) whose educational backgrounds included Biology, Mathematics, GIS, Economics, English, and Communications. As I continued to collaborate and learn from them and get the support I needed, I was able to start my own research and report on the economic and social value of community gardens. My report allowed me to collect information on the importance of community gardens and how they function as green infrastructure, providing important water infiltration services along with a range of additional social, health, and cultural benefits to communities. 

I was familiar with many of the  benefits of community gardens from a previous mentoring program that I participated in as a high school student here in Tacoma. However, at that program, we did not dig deep into how a community garden can function as green infrastructure, or how these gardens can encourage a sense of identity and individuality. Through this research, I was able to broaden my knowledge on the ecosystem service benefits, stormwater infiltration benefits, and the cost-effectiveness of a community garden. I calculated infiltration rates, how much water different soil types can filter in an average garden bed, and the cost of growing food versus buying it. In addition, I researched implementation of different green infrastructure plans in cities around the country. This work helped me connect to the bigger picture of what Earth Economics does to bring awareness to communities and open up conversations to change policies, all aiming to promote sustainability for a better tomorrow. 

Earth Economics is doing important work that many might overlook. I am so glad I got the opportunity not only to see what they do, but to be a part of it as their first Future Leaders Fellow. Learning from and collaborating with the talented people that make up the Earth Economics team has shown me what my opportunities and potential really are.

The "Modernized" Endangered Species Act Would Set Us Back Decades

The "Modernized" Endangered Species Act Would Set Us Back Decades

There is Nothing Modern about the “Modernized Endangered Species Act.”

Federal lawmakers are set to consider a “Modernized Endangered Species Act” that will ultimately serve to transfer the authority of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to local governments and private interests. Essentially, if a local jurisdiction or private company views a protection that falls under the ESA as a hindrance to development, they would be significantly empowered to sidestep science and overturn the protection at the local level. Far from a modernization, the set of changes being proposed to this longstanding piece of legislation that serves as both our best defense against extinction as well as critical protection of valuable biodiversity would set us back decades – literally. The ESA has been around for more than 40 years, and scientists estimate that if it were not for the ESA, Americans would have lost at least 227 species of plants and animals since the act was passed in 1973.[i]

Experts worldwide agree that we are in the midst of a mass extinction of plant and animal species, driven largely by human activity. Over 1,300 species are listed as endangered or threatened in the United States alone. Now more than ever, we should be working to strengthen the ESA, the world’s gold standard for protecting vulnerable species, rather than diminishing it. Lawmakers behind the “modernization” proposal claim that the ESA “is not working,”[ii]but we know it is. The ESA has successfully saved more than 99% of species listed, and statistical analysis shows that listing significantly improves a species’ likelihood of recovery.[iii]The list of species the Act has saved includes the bald eagle, the manatee, the humpback whale, the California condor, the Florida manatee, and the black-footed ferret, to name just a few. As a leader in science-based economics, Earth Economics highlights the value of critical habitat, biodiversity, and healthy ecosystems in all of our work. And numerous studies have demonstrated that Americans place economic value on species preservation that far exceeds the cost of the ESA program. A few are highlighted below, including one that Earth Economics is currently working on. 



When bald eagles were listed as an endangered species, there were fewer than 1,000 living in the U.S. Through habitat protection and pesticide regulation, their numbers increased exponentially, and these birds were eventually delisted in the early 2000s. Bald eagles are highly valued by US households. Multiple studies have found that, on average, American households are willing to pay between $27[iv]and $58[v]per year (adjusted for inflation to 2018 dollars) to preserve bald eagles from extinction. Extended across all households, the nation is willing to spend more than $1.5 billion dollars a year to preserve bald eagles from extinction. In 1993, the year this survey was conducted, state and federal governments spent just $200 million on the entire endangered species program, protecting not just the bald eagle, but hundreds of other endangered species. [vi]




Gray wolves were extinct in the wild in the continental United States following large scale extermination efforts in the 1930s.[vii]Gray wolves were reintroduced in the wild under protection of the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s. Wolf populations were introduced in the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes region.[viii]Although wolf reintroduction has been politically contentious, a significant majority of Americans support reintroduction of the species in the U.S.[ix]A survey of residents in Minnesota found that local value of gray wolf reintroduction far exceeded program costs to maintain the species. Extrapolated statewide, Minnesota residents were willing to pay more than $27 million for the management and protection of gray wolves in the area.[x]Total costs of the management program – including costs to compensate ranchers for livestock losses - were less than $800,000 annually.[xi]


Southern Resident Killer Whales


Southern esident killer whales (SRKWs) were listed as an endangered species in 2005. SRKW populations have not recovered since their ESA listing, and populations continue to decline. This continued loss is ascribed to the drastic decline of their main food source - chinook salmon,[xii]which are currently at record lows in the wild.[xiii]The fragile SRKW population also suffers from disturbance by commercial and recreational vessels and chemical pollutants.[xiv]Earth Economics is currently partnering with the SeaDoc Society to estimate the economic value of this iconic species in Puget Sound. In addition, Governor Inslee of Washington State has convened a Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force in response to the dire situation of this beloved species, and citizens and organizations around Western Washington are working together to try to save them, proving yet again that Americans place a high value on the protection of native wildlife. 


The ESA Protects Habitat, Biodiversity, and American Values.

Recreationists, hunters, anglers, wildlife lovers young and old, and those who may never even set foot in the wild all place enormous value on the diversity of wild animals across the United States. Beyond their economic values, iconic animals like those described above are a core part of our identity and culture as Americans. They tie us to the land we love and provide an irreplaceable sense of place, history, and national pride. The ability to pass these things on to future generations of Americans is truly priceless, and the ESA is our best bet for doing just that. The ESA isn’t just good science, it’s good economics, proving time and again to be worth far more than we pay for it.

© Earth Economics 2018
Reproduction of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorized without prior written permission from the copyright holder provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of this publication for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission of the copyright holder.



  • [i]“The Endangered Species Act: A Wild Success” (n.d.) Center for Biological Diversity. Retrieved from:
  • [ii]Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), quoted March 11, 2017 in the Washington Post:
  • [iii]Martin F. J. Taylor, Kieran F. Suckling, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski; The Effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act: A Quantitative Analysis, BioScience, Volume 55, Issue 4, 1 April 2005, Pages 360–367,[0360:TEOTES]2.0.CO;2
  • [iv]Nunes, P. A., & van den Bergh, J. C. (2001). Economic valuation of biodiversity: sense or nonsense?. Ecological economics, 39(2), 203-222
  • [v]Loomis, J., White, D. (1996) Benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis. Ecological Economics 18: 197-206
  • [vi]“Three-Year Summary of Federal and State Endangered and Threatened Species Expenditures” (2000) US Fish and Wildlife Services
  • [vii]“Gray Wolf Biologue” (n.d) US Fish and Wildlife Services. Retrieved from:
  • [viii]Ibid
  • [ix]Williams, C. K., Ericsson, G., & Heberlein, T. A. (2002). A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972-2000). Wildlife Society Bulletin, 575-584.
  • [x]Chambers, C. M., & Whitehead, J. C. (2003). A contingent valuation estimate of the benefits of wolves in Minnesota. Environmental and Resource Economics, 26(2), 249-267.
  • [xi]Ibid
  • [xii]“Review of the Effectiveness of Recovery Measures for Southern Resident Killer Whales” (n.d) Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Retrieved from:
  • [xiii]“Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Statistics." (n.d) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  • [xiv]“Review of the Effectiveness of Recovery Measures for Southern Resident Killer Whales” (n.d) Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Retrieved from:

A Trillion-Dollar Forest in the Region of Boom


A Trillion-Dollar Forest in the Region of Boom


The Emerald Corridor comprises one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. With a regional economy of $347 billion and a population of 4.5 million people and counting, the Emerald Corridor is an important economy on the rise. In our recent report for the Wilderness Society - Gem of the Emerald Corridor: Nature’s Value in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - we took a look at how nature is driving this growth, and the results are pretty eye-opening. If we view the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBSNF) as a natural asset that will provide valuable services, products, and jobs to our regional economy for at least 100 years (as we should...), its total asset value is estimated to be $1 trillion. Trillion. With a T.

The MBSNF (green) provides enormous value up and down the Emerald Corridor (white). 

The MBSNF (green) provides enormous value up and down the Emerald Corridor (white). 

If you’ve been following Earth Economics for any amount of time, you already know that nature and the economy are not separate. Nature drives our economy, and the booming Emerald Corridor owes much of its incredible success to the enormous wealth of natural resources that surround it. The forest provides nearly $30 billion dollars in ecosystem services to surrounding communities every year. It filters the water we drink, purifies the air we breathe, and provides space for recreation that improves health and fuels local economies through year-round spending and jobs. For every dollar invested in its management, the forest returns $3,000 in critical ecosystem services like these every single year. You don’t need to be an economist to recognize that a 3,000% annual ROI is a REALLY good one.


>>>  3000% ANNUAL ROI  <<<


Over the next week, we’ll be telling the story of the value of the MBSNF. This is not just a story about nature - it’s a story about communities. The forest connects urban and rural communities up and down the corridor through a shared interest in our precious natural resources and beloved landscapes. It brings Amazon dollars to communities like Glacier, Verlot, and Easton, as urban dwellers spend time and money in and around the forest. It provides much-needed space for recreation and exercise, as some 2 million visitors burn more than 3 billion calories in the forest each year. And in turn, community members volunteer more than 60,000 hours of their time each year working to give something back for all that we receive.

snoqualmie pass .jpg

As Jon Hoekstra, Executive Director of Mountains to Sound Greenway put it in a press conference on Tuesday, “The Gem of the Emerald Corridor report provides economic data that validates what we are reminded of every time we venture to the forest and return the better for it.” At Earth Economics, we know we can’t quantify the way the forest makes us feel, or the memories we create there, or the fact that it is truly part of our local identity. These things are surely priceless. But, if we want our leaders to invest in nature, we need to give them the tools that make its benefits clear, using the language of budgets, costs, and return on investment. This report aims to do just that, because ultimately, any investment in nature is an investment in communities.


Summer is Coming, and So Are Our Interns!

Summer is Coming, and So Are Our Interns!

Longer days and sunny skies mean it’s not only time for outdoor adventures but also for Earth Economics’ summer internship program! This summer we are fortunate to have interns supporting a range of projects, from assessing expenditures of whale watchers to mapping barriers along salmon streams to researching investments in community health.

Carbon-Free Commuting in the Month of May

Carbon-Free Commuting in the Month of May

It’s National Bike Month, and our Earth Economics team is participating in the state-wide Bike Everywhere Challenge - saving carbon and having a little more fun on our commutes.

      As a leader in ecological economics, Earth Economics has been providing innovative analysis and recommendations to governments and organizations across the globe since 1998. We make the business case for nature-based solutions that enable urban and rural communities to be more resilient, healthy, and equitable. We are committed to environmental justice and to empowering the community leaders of today and tomorrow. With the help of generous people like you, we will invest in the resources needed to educate and train our staff on principles and best practices for effectively incorporating equity in our work, and we will offer valuable career pathways to underrepresented youth in the fields of economics and the environment. With your help, we will invest in solutions that are beneficial for ALL.&nbsp;&nbsp;  Join us as we participate in the annual GIVEBIG event, the Puget Sound region's largest day of giving.&nbsp;  Click here &nbsp; to schedule* your donation today through May 9, or GIVEBIG on May 10.  *All scheduled donations will be processed on May 10.   Together we can invest in nature-based solutions for all.

Together we can invest in nature-based solutions for all. #GIVEBIG for all.

How We Celebrated Earth Day Weekend

How We Celebrated Earth Day Weekend

For Earth Day weekend, Earth Economics teams joined EarthCorps in their efforts to restore a Tacoma salt marsh and the Green-Duwamish river.

The value of Southern Resident Killer Whales

The value of Southern Resident Killer Whales

Earth Economics is preparing a study, funded by the SeaDoc Society, to identify the recreation and tourism values attached to Southern Resident Killer Whales, iconic and endangered residents of the Pacific Northwest. 

The Value of an EPA Superfund Cleanup

The Value of an EPA Superfund Cleanup

What’s the value of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund cleanup? As one case study, we examined the Ruston Superfund site – where for nearly one hundred years a copper smelter emitted a toxic plume of heavy metals from Everett to Olympia.