The value of outdoor recreation with special application to Loch Leven
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Loch Leven an angling resource in the Fife Region of Scotland approximately twenty-eight miles north of Edinburgh. For many years, it provided anglers with outstanding challenge and pleasure. However, many anglers are now becoming disheartened by the fact that the quality of angling at Loch Leven has deteriorated substantially over the past ten to fifteen years. Some vow that they will not return unless something is done to improve the resource. The following is a cost-benefit study. The costs to be measured are those which must be incurred in order to improve the quality of angling at Loch Leven. These include the cost of reducing the pike population in the loch and the costs involved in the construction and maintenance of a fish hatchery so that Loch Leven may be artificially stocked with its unique trout. The benefits accrued, not only to anglers but to the community of Kinross, will be calculated using various techniques, some of which may be considered inadequate or illogical. The most promising technique for imputing a monetary value to primary or user benefits was developed by Marion Clawson. The major portion of the discussion of primary benefits is devoted to his model. In order to apply the Clawson technique to Loch Leven, a survey of anglers was undertaken and the details of this survey are presented. The responses of the 114 anglers who returned the questionnaire form the basis for the primary benefit calculations. Secondary benefits, or the benefits accrued to the surrounding community of Kinross, are measured using an income multiplier model developed by the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit of the University of Edinburgh. Again the angler surveys form the basis for these calculations. The Present Value of costs and benefits is calculated and a benefit-cost ratio presented. Because this ratio exceeds unity, it is recommended that measures be undertaken to improve the quality of angling at Loch Leven so that one of Scotland's most famous recreation resources may once again be the envy of the world's angling community.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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