Sarah specializes in natural resource policy and economics.Related Areas of Expertise Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
ECONorthwest understands the economic costs and benefits of stormwater infrastructure.Sustainability
We help public and private entities make decisions that reinforce the long-term health of our environment and our economy.Ecosystem Service Valuation
ECONorthwest uses the latest science and economic techniques to incorporate ecosystem service values into economic analyses.
The value of many goods and services that ecosystems provide to society are difficult to quantify because there are no conventional markets on which they can be traded. Some examples of ecosystem services that have eluded monetization using market prices are related to values that our society places on endangered and threatened species, scenic views, quality of life, and cultural heritage. That they cannot be quantified using conventional methods does not mean, however, that their value is zero.
Over the last twenty years, national and international panels and government agencies have validated the importance of considering the value of ecosystem services and other non-market environmental benefits in regualtory decisions. Guidance from many state and federal governments requires inclusion of non-monetary benefits and costs in benefit-cost analysis. The economic profession has risen to the challenge, and there are now many peer-reviewed and accepted techniques to quantify the value of non-market goods and services.
ECONorthwest has been conducting non-market valuation and economic analysis for almost thirty years. The techniques we use are well-established in the economic literature and include methods, such as benefit transfer, contingent valuation, and travel cost. Some of our past projects involved
Our analytical process follows professional standards and has withstood the highest levels of scrutiny, in state and federal court. We work closely with scientists and other specialists to produce economic analyses that reflect the most current understanding of ecological and biophysical processes.
We understand that incorporating non-market values into decision-making processes is still seen as controversial to some. Our rigorous approach to the fundamentals—paying attention to both supply and demand, discounting, and addressing sources of uncertainty and risk—reassure our clients and their stakeholders of the validity of the information we provide.