• Kenai National Wildlife Refuge: Economic Importance

      Hill, Alexandra; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge contributes to the borough economy primarily through tourism and seafood industries. The refuge’s lakes, mountains and forests are home to abundant animals, birds and fish. They provide sport fishing and hunting opportunities as well as a variety of non-consumptive activities such as hiking, rafting and bird watching. The refuge also contains breeding and rearing habitat for substantial salmon populations that support sport fishing both on and off the refuge as well as commercial fishing in Cook Inlet. Assessing what portion of the impact of any activity is directly attributable to the refuge is difficult. A sport angler catching salmon in Hidden Lake (on the refuge) is enjoying a resource that depended not only on refuge habitat, but also on several years of marine habitat in the Gulf of Alaska. It’s not possible to say what fraction of the dollars the angler spends in the refuge are attributable to refuge resources and what fraction to marine resources. Likewise, commercial fishers in Cook Inlet are not fishing on the refuge, but many of the fish they catch were dependent on refuge resources for spawning and rearing habitat. Since there is no ‘correct’ allocation of economic activities that depend on both refuge and off refuge resources, we analyze two different sets of activities.