Preserving Farms and Forests in Sussex County

Joshua Duke from the UD, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Robert Johnston from the University of Connecticut led this project which stemmed from increasing demand from stakeholders and policymakers for user-friendly information regarding public values associated with farm, forest and openspace preservation. The basic problems of land use in fast growing areas such as Sussex County are that development does not bear the full costs of its actions. These costs come in many forms, and this work focused on the costs that accrue from destroying the public goods associated with undeveloped land. This project detailed a plan to communicate this information to various stakeholders to improve decision making about land use and preservation in Sussex County, Delaware. Most importantly, the results translated existing research on land preservation in the county into a matrix that reports the public good value in terms of various land uses.

This project also assesses the amount that Delaware residents would be willing to pay in increased taxes and associated fees to preserve farm or forest land in their local communities. Survey results quantify the value that Delaware residents have for different types of farm and forest preservation.

Publications

Preserving Farms and Forests in Sussex County Summary, July 2007. (PDF 68KB) Written by: Joshua M. Duke, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Delaware 

Presentations

Preserving Farms and Forests in Sussex County, Delaware: Public Value, June 28, 2007. (PDF 146KB) Presented by: Joshua M. Duke, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Delaware Robert J. Johnston and Tammy W. Campson, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut