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Incremental Investment Value of Waterfowl Impoundments in the Upstate of South Carolina, USA

Keywords: Waterfowl , Investment , Economics , Financial analysis

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Financial incentives and economic factors play a role in expansion and survival of waterfowl in the Upstate of South Carolina. Satisfying a basic biological need, waterfowl impoundments are an effective way to ensure that migrating ducks have a food source, cover, and water on their journey south during the winter months (duck hunting season), but also year-round to ensure these birds return annually. Development of the region’s rural areas has resulted in a decrease in total area of flooded wetlands designated to waterfowl and a decline in waterfowl populations. At the same time, the willingness to pay to hunt ducks has escalated. South Carolinians drive across the United States in search for duck hunting when the same hunting experience could be created in their own backyard. The incremental value of creating a waterfowl impoundment was determined on five different properties in the Upstate of South Carolina (the study area). A discounted cost flow analysis approach was used that considered initial costs (a pond leveler, site preparation work, and blind building), recurring costs, and hunter revenue. The model also considered the opportunity cost of foregoing the harvest of planted crops on the land. Realistic examples are provided with corresponding net present values and geographic information system generated maps illustrate the layout of these impoundments. Waterfowl impoundments were found to produce significant financial return.


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