An interdisciplinary team set out to establish the economic and social values of the Trinity River in northern California. This information was intended to support the Secretary of the Interior's decision on allocation of Trinity River flows. This team set out to measure the values of Trinity River flows, fishery resources, and recreation amenities in several different ways. A survey was mailed to users of the Trinity River. This single instrument included economic measures (willingness-to-pay and costs incurred in visiting) and social-psychological measures (importance, satisfaction, and water allocation preferences). A closely related survey measured several of these same values among west coast regional households. The results of these surveys were compiled, and the measured economic and social values were compared. We found that integrating economic and social value information provides a greater depth of understanding of the resource's value. In addition, this integration provides a more in-depth understanding through the quantitative and qualitative results that emerge.
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Diversifying natural resources value measurements: The Trinity River study