Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Raymond L. Linder

Second Advisor

Charles G. Scalet


In spite of efforts to conserve wetlands, intensified agriculture, water projects, and urban development annually diminish the quantity and quality of wetland resources (Weller 1981). Leitch and Danielson (1979) noted that when the discounted value of the returns to drainage exceed drainage costs there is an economic incentive to drain. If present drainage rates continue, Weller (1981) estimated that most wetlands will disappear by the year 2140. Research has only recently focused attention on the need to estimate the public value of wetland benefits and the social costs of drainage (Leitch and Danielson 1979). The disparity between private and social benefits of wetlands has intensified public concern over the extent of wetland drainage (Leitch and Danielson 1979). Matson (1964) reported that a lack of information concerning wetland social benefits has made it difficult to provide a solid foundation for wetland policy decisions. Economic valuations of wetlands are based on the recognition that wetlands yield a flow of services valuable to society (Shabman and Batie 1981). Services or benefits are either indirect (e.g. flood protection) or direct (e. g. production of wildlife and recreation opportunities). The benefits of wetlands as a recreational resource are well documented in the literature (Hammack and Brown 1974, Jaworski and Raphael 1978, Horwitz 1979). This study is concerned with public and private wetlands in South Dakota and the population of hunters that utilize them. Characteristics of importance include; number of resource users, geographic relationship between user populations and the resource, the quantity and quality of the resource, and resource ownership (Hammack and Brown 1974, Thibodeau and Ostro 1981, Palm and Malvestuto 1983). The objective was to estimate the direct economic benefits of South Dakota wetlands as a recreation resource for resident hunters.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wetlands -- Economic aspects -- South Dakota
Wetlands -- Recreational use -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-37)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only