Économie et Statistique n° 357-358 - 2002 Employment - Social Transfers - Pensions - Industry - Environmental Goods Evaluation
The loss of recreational forest use following the 1999 storms: the case of Fontainebleau forest
Never have the French forests suffered such destruction as that inflicted by the Lothar and Martin storms of December 1999. Three-quarters of France's départements were hit, 500 000 hectares of forest were devas-tated and the volume of felled wood was twelve times higher than after the 1982 storm, when 31 départements were struck. In addition to the biological damage and market losses, the 1999 storms also affected forest fre-quentation. The loss of recreational forest use following these storms can be measured by methods that assess the value of an environmental good, the improvement in its quality due to rehabilitation or conservation measures, and its deterioration following damage (pollution or a climatic event). One of these methods, the contingent valuation method (CVM), conducts field surveys to evaluate the value that visitors and residents place on a site and on the variation in its quality. The loss of recreational forest use is measured for the example of Fontainebleau forest based on the price that users would be willing to pay (willingness to pay)to contribute to rehabilitating the forest. The loss of recreational forest use due to the damage caused by the December 1999 storms is hence valued at appro-ximately 200 to 240 French francs (30.50 to 36.60 euros) per person per year. On a per visit basis,this would be a bracket of 13 to 18 French francs (2 to 2.75 euros).