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AUGUSTA, ME – Removing a 162-year old hydroelectric dam has improved a Maine community’s sportsfishing industry, and may be adding up to $43 million dollars annually to its economy, according to a new study by economists at Bates College.
Lynne Lewis, a professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, determined that removal of the Edwards Dam near Augusta, Maine, has made the local waters more attractive to recreational anglers, who notice greater numbers and types of fish. At the same time, residents and tourists are now willing to pay more to visit the area for fishing. The study, among the first examining fisheries post-dam removal, was published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.
Growing empirical evidence suggest that spawning salmon populations provide measurable nutrient flows back to riparian forest systems, further complicating the dilemma of optimizing harvest management of both timber and fisheries in salmon-rearing watersheds. Such a co-dependent relationship between these two high-value resources begs reconsideration of existing resource management strategies, where frequently timber production is prioritized. Here, I review recent research on salmon benefits to forest growth, all of which focus on the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the endemic timber and salmon species. Additionally, I consider the implications from this ecological co-dependency for existing timber harvest and conservation payment policies. As an example, I apply them to the findings by Zorbrist and Lippke (2007) on Oregon and Washington riparian timber harvesting limits for fish protection, whose economic analysis predict that such restrictions decrease soil expectation value for small landowners.
Keywords: ecosystem services, salmon, marine-derived nutrients, forestry economics
Submitted as an economics course term paper on 2008/12/14. This report has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
I like this little guy. He’s dead, but he’s got style.
He (note the strongly hooked snout of breeding males, called a “kype”) is meant to represent a Pacific salmon carcass (Oncorhynchus). I whipped this up for my mentor and friend Joseph Kiernan (now Dr. Kiernan), in one of his food web flowcharts on salmon nutrient cycling in riparian ecosystems.
Rushing through the open van door, the morning air was numbingly cold.
At least it was to this transplanted South Floridian, as none of my fellow students seem to be shivering as much. Nevertheless, all of us are wearing shorts, for soon we would be encased in the damp warmth of our neoprene chest-high waders and thick, almost armored wading boots. More importantly, later in the day, the northern California sun will have turned this snug, warming suit into an imprisoning cage of suffocating heat.
It was wise to wear the minimum under these blessed and cursed waders. But the synthetic rubber that forms these waterproof overalls also provides insulation from an element that is most important to our task: electricity.