Examining the Benefits of Invasive Species Prevention: The Role of Invader Temporal Characteristics

International trade and travel can enable otherwise innocuous species to wreak havoc in new and novel environments. Evaluating the economic benefits of preventing the arrival and establishment of a damaging, invasive species through quarantine or preventative measures requires considering its total long-term damages from the time of its arrival onward.  Previous literature has recognized that […]

Prioritizing Policies for Biodiversity Conservation: A new RFF Press Book

Poverty, political instability, and natural disasters are just a few of the problems facing Latin America and the Caribbean. So it’s not surprising that policymakers devote limited resources to conserving the region’s biodiversity—even if it is, by all accounts, exceptionally rich and valuable. But that’s exactly why those scarce conservation resources need to be deployed […]

The Future of the Endangered Species Act: Challenges, Opportunities, and Partnerships

Over the last year, RFF began hosting a series of meetings between the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), NGOs, and the business community to discuss future species listing and recovery decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One goal is to take stock of the ESA’s many strengths and successes over the 40 years […]

Land Conservation and Sea Level Rise—Florida Edition

If you’re a fan of crime fiction with a dash of humor, you might have read some of Carl Hiaasen’s books—Skinny Dip, Nature Girl, Paradise Screwed, to name three. If so, you’ve probably noticed Hiaasen’s love of nature, specifically the wild and woolly swamps and back woods of south Florida. In early November, Hiaasen wrote […]

Managing Invasive Species: Examining Individual and Cooperative Approaches

Invasive species impose severe ecological and economic changes on their new ecosystems—the United States alone suffers billions of dollars’ worth of damage every year due to the introduction and proliferation of non-native species. Bioinvasions often are viewed as a problem to be tackled by a top-down central decisionmaker seeking to control invaders across large swaths […]

Ecosystem Services in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

In 1990, the Acid Rain Program introduced market-based environmental policy on the largest scale ever attempted. The program capped the total level of acid rain–causing sulfur dioxide emissions from the US electricity sector and allowed utilities to trade under that fixed cap—a so-called cap-and-trade system. Ironically, though much of the original motivation for that program […]

Conservation Return on Investment Analysis: Three Case Studies

An increasing number of conservation projects designed to address ecological management, protection, and restoration are being judged based on the investment returns they are able to produce. The costs, benefits, and risks of these projects can all be assessed using conservation return on investment (ROI) analysis, a method to help conservancies prioritize possible programs based […]

Ivory Stockpiles: Will Destroying Them Really Help Stop Poaching?

Just over five years ago, sanctioned auctions of ivory stockpiled in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe raised more than $15 million for elephant conservation. Now, Tanzania is set to destroy $50 million of ivory stockpile, following the lead of the US, France, Hong Kong, and China. The US is also taking steps to further […]

Water Smart—Dollar Smart

Each year, the US government spends billions of dollars to build, maintain, and manage water infrastructure and water resources. Federal principles directing how the US Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies assess, plan, and invest in flood control, water storage, navigation infrastructure, and other water resources date back to 1983. The realities of science, […]

The Limits to Ingenuity: Where Malthus May Have Had it Right

Marine biologists project the collapse of harvested seafood species by 2050. But do we need those species? The very question should generate ethical discomfort but also confront an economic truth: humanity might be able to innovate our way around the problem, at least from the perspective of food protein production. This raises a question for […]