Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-765) 99 pp

September 1998

Wetlands and Agriculture: Private Interests and Public Benefits

Society has recently increased the value it places on the services that wetlands provide, including water quality improvements, flood control, wildlife habitat, and recreation. However, owners of wetlands are often unable to profit from these services because the benefits created are freely enjoyed by many. This report examines differences between public and private incentives regarding wetlands. Federal wetland policy has shifted in recent decades--from encouraging wetland conversion to encouraging wetland protection and restoration--in an effort to balance public and private objectives. The report assesses the need for continued wetlands protection policies as the United States approaches achieving the goal of no net loss of wetlands.

Keywords: wetlands, no net loss, Swampbuster, conservation, restoration

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Last updated: Tuesday, September 01, 1998

For more information, contact: Ralph Heimlich, Keith Wiebe , Roger Claassen, Dwight Gadsby, and Robert House