Monday, March 05, 2007

The Intrinsic Value of Trees?

Over at the Crow’s Nest Preserve blog, Dan Barringer is sharing a recent study examining the value of preserving and maintaining healthy ecosystems.

The discussion points to some less tangible ways to measure the value of trees and forests as they relate to the ongoing health of both human and wild communities.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


  1. There is a whole range of 'less tangible' criteria by which woodlands may be evaluated, both ecological and economic. Ecological criteria include vague concepts such as 'naturalness' (an assessment of disturbance), fragility (the degree of sensitivity to change), and intrinsic appeal (according to human subjectivity). Economic criteria can be divided into use values and non-use values. Use values may be concerned with direct contact (either marketable e.g. timber extraction, or non-marketable e.g. recreation), indirect contact (e.g. carbon sequestration), or the option to use the wood in the future. Non-use values include existence values - e.g. the knowledge that woodland exists 'just for itself'.

  2. Indeed! There are SO many ways to assess the value of wildlands... I love stats that show the offset value of trees in urban areas as they affect heating/cooling costs and property values.

    Personally, my favorite scale of measurement is the way that I feel when wandering the wilderness. There's just no number to stick on that! :D

  3. That was an interesting article. I wish more people realized that even though they may not see a direct impact (as you mention with the trees and heating/cooling costs), everything has its influence on everything else. Fewer bees = fewer flowers = less honey for the cuppa tea is one tiny, tiny example.

    We just need more education on the unique benefits of Nature to increase the level of awareness.

    As always, a beautiful photo...what a brilliant blue in the sky!

  4. Michelle, I definitely agree that more education and improved understanding would lead to wiser choices with greater consideration for the environment. Personally, I think the best teacher is nature herself, and the best classrooms the wildplaces!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.