Laramie, Wy – A professor at U-W is making the case for giving forests, wetlands and other parts of the environment an economic value. Doctor Ed Barbier helped write a report on this subject with the National Academy of Sciences. He says the question is what happens if decision makers don't put a value on nature. Barbier says the answer is that we might overuse a part of the environment or even underuse it if we assume the value is more than it actually is. He says this valuation is important.
An example of this valuation could involve a forested area that provides drinking water to a community. Decision makers would look at the value of logging the forest versus the cost of paying to get drinking water from another source.