Valuing Place through Resources: Incorporating Multi-dimensional Values in Decision Processes
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Including values for non-market natural and cultural resources in decision processes present challenges to resource managers. This dissertation uses a place-based resource-driven approach to assess the values associated with non-market resources in a national park. Existing valuation methods produce reliable measures for market resources, but are criticized for their inability to express values beyond uni-dimensional monetary values. Expressed values of park visitors for the natural and cultural resources within a national park are analyzed in order to quantitatively depict multiple dimensions of value for each resource relative to all others. Resulting abstract value-spaces are used to depict stakeholder group values and illustrate shared and unique values that can aid in decision processes. Value spaces are also used to examine the effects of resource losses on expressed values. These are observed through potential impact scenarios and can inform long-range planning and adaptation efforts. This research finds that a two-dimensional value space, representing aesthetic and functional qualities of resources can be formed to depict the values for included resources relative to one another. A core set of resources commonly valued by all major stakeholder groups is easily identifiable. Direct comparisons of value spaces for groups provides clear distinctions between group values for specific resources. Finally, subjecting value spaces to resource loss scenarios, indicates consistent changes in values while patterns of resource values remain stable, which can be used in participation and in conflict resolution efforts. These findings provide previously unobservable insight regarding the similarities and differences of group values and value stability as resource managers seek public input, resolve conflicts and craft long-range resource plans. This methodology establishes a basic framework for assessing relative resource values, non-monetarily, and along multiple dimensions. Value spaces can be used to proactively inform planning and decision processes from initial problem identification, establishment of alternative solutions and through assessments of implementation.
Bardenhagen, Eric Karsten (2011). Valuing Place through Resources: Incorporating Multi-dimensional Values in Decision Processes. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from