Select Projects:

Economic Analysis

  • Puget SoundPhase II Tidal Power Economic Feasibility Analysis. Tacoma Power

     Resource Dimensions conducted the economic and financial feasibility analysis and other preliminary assessments for a pilot and potential future commercial array for the Tacoma Narrows in Pierce County, Washington. Work included the development of cost of energy models for pre-commercial and commercial production, calculation of rate estimates, REC market assessment, and the evaluation of economic contributions of such a project on the local and regional economy. Other tasks included organizing a preliminary scoping meeting with area tribes and various government agencies to discuss issues of interest across stakeholder groups. Phase II findings indicate that while there is sufficient power in the Tacoma Narrows for deployment of at least one site producing up to 20MWs and a possibility of additional sites, tidal power generation is not economically or technically feasible at this time. The team, commended by Tacoma Power, included colleagues from the University of Washington, Meridian Environmental, and Coast and Harbor Engineering.
  • Analysis of Agricultural Land Markets in Idaho. Idaho Department of Lands

     This study evaluated regional variability in leasing trends and conditions between 2005 and 2009 in the private agricultural land lease markets in 33 Idaho counties. This information will aid the Idaho Department of Lands and Idaho Land Board in making decisions on appropriate leasing policy, investment, methodology and rates that would provide the best return on state Endowment Trust Lands leased for agriculture.

    The Resource Dimensions team assessed and reported on lease considerations for cash, crop share and flexible crop share leases from 318 individuals on 492 leases through telephone surveys and in-person interviews. Data was collected on the lands involved and their location, the nature of existing leases and leasing arrangement, crops produced, and other land uses involved on each lease. A multivariate analysis was conducted to evaluate how lease prices and crop share percentages varied with the terms and conditions of the lease, to explicitly recognize the qualitative nature of the data collection involved.

    In addition, the use of GIS aided in the development of base maps that identified the general location, lease type and values for lease properties by region. Private agricultural lands across the counties included in the study were mapped using GIS and assessed using an integrated approach that included land values, soil and land capabilities, zoning data and urban growth projections to develop recommendations for potential future agricultural trust land acquisition in the study counties. Finally, the team assessed the profitability of owning or leasing agricultural land in Idaho.

  • Economic Impact Analysis & Feasibility of Proposed LNG Terminal at Bradwood Landing. Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and Columbia RiverKeeper, OR

     This study consisted of a preliminary feasibility and economic impact assessment for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility proposed at Bradwood Landing in Clatsop County, Oregon. Resource Dimensions assessed a range of community and economic impacts associated with industrialization of the river, such as commercial and recreational fishery impacts, public access and impacts on the port communities of Astoria, Portland, and Vancouver, navigation on the river, real estate and tourism. Peer review was also conducted on reports prepared by the company, and testimony was presented to Clatsop County related to the proposed land use zoning change required to allow construction and operation of the terminal.
  • Potlatch Marina & Fuel Services Feasibility Study. Skokomish Indian Tribal Enterprises.

     This recently completed study examined the economic and technical feasibility of fiscal realities associated with a proposed marina and fueling operation at the Skokomish Tribe's South Hood Canal Waterfront Resort at Potlatch, Washington. It included the assessment of site attributes, determination of siting requirements, and the development of concept plans and construction cost estimates. Resource Dimensions economists led the development of the study approach, research and various financial and economic analyses for this multi-phased feasibility study. Fundamental goals of the project included assurance that analyses and consideration of potential economic development opportunities maintained sensitivity to the environmental, cultural and historical characteristics of the property and region. Aspects of the study include assessment of local and regional support for the project, market demand, development of project pro formas and revenue requirements, profit potential, job creation, regional economic impacts, the development of recommendations for suitable "Clean Marina" technologies, and product and/or service strategies. Layton/Sell carried out preliminary marina design and engineering elements.
  • SR28SR 28 Eastside Corridor EIS - Economic Impacts. Federal Highway Administration and Washington State DOT

      This economic impact analysis included the preparation of a detailed impacted parcel analysis, development of an estimated 10-year cycle project budget and an economic impact input-output model to evaluate the local and regional economic impacts of the proposed $150-million dollar road improvement project in East Wenatchee, Washington. Related work involved data collection, development of the study approach and regional economic profile, conducting analyses and preparation of technical reports for the DEIS and FEIS , and supporting documentation related to local and regional economic effects. In association with David Evans & Associates.
  • Economic Analysis of Regional Recreation Trends-Lower and Middle Snake River. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District.

      Resource Dimensions conducted the economic analysis of recreation trends and prepared the report relative for the Lower Snake River EA/EIS. The analysis separates potential river visitors into two groups: anglers and non-anglers or "general recreationists." The report describes existing river conditions, community profiles, addresses future and continuing increase in demand for reservoir-based recreation, and evaluates and measures future recreation behavior and economic implications, as well as the possible displacement of current reservoir recreationists.
  • Public Attitudes and Willingness-to-Pay for Community-based Parks and Recreation Assets.  Peninsula Metropolitan Park District, WA

     For this Pierce County, Washington park district, Resource Dimensions conducted an integrated analysis designed to aid the agency in understanding the range of values associated with community recreational needs and wants, and their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for parks and various recreation assets. To estimate the WTP and identify the optimal suite of new park and recreation assets that the public would likely to support, Resource Dimensions sought public and agency input using an iterative research process that included the use of interviews, focus groups and an online choice experiment survey. These tools were used to collect qualitative and quantitative information on issues central to this investigation. Findings from the study helped inform the agency about criteria that may be used to design an optimal bond package to fund potential park services and facilities projects, and to advise the agency on prevalent community views, perceived gaps in recreational resources, and issues of trust that may impact the success of any proposed bond initiative to support parks. Several recommendations came from this study; one being community outreach and education. As a result, the park district has initiated a comprehensive community-relations-building effort.
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  • Energy "Foot-Printing" - The Impacts of Renewable Energy Investments. Scottish Economic Policy Network and the Scottish Executive Office

     Resource Dimensions completed a countrywide study in the United Kingdom to estimate the energy footprint and value of environmental and employment impacts from proposed expansion of renewable energy projects. Primary 'energy footprint' issues examined included air quality, pollution reduction and mitigation strategies, landscape, wildlife, long-term local employment, and WTP for improved air and environmental quality through different types of energy and renewable energy projects. Focus groups, surveys and choice experiments were used to assess current social behavior and attitudes and evaluate the program and policy measures most likely to succeed. Econometric and cost-benefit impact analysis was conducted on choice sets of public preferences, and policy recommendations were presented for further development and implementation.
  • FarmlandEconomic Impact of State, County and Municipal Land Use Regulations

     For Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Resource Dimensions conducted an in-depth review and analysis of land use policies and zoning regulations to estimate the range of fiscal, budgetary, and socioeconomic impacts across 70+ county townships. We presented testimony to state legislators, county commissioners and government agency officials. Organized and facilitated series of public meetings, developed long-term strategic plan for farmland protection program and conducted landowner interviews, surveys, miscellaneous program negotiations. Revised program state/county guidelines and developed an integrated land conservation valuation model and coordinating map that won support of the State Agricultural Preservation Board.
  • Economic Analysis /Audit of Washington State Grazing Program. Washington State Joint Legislative Review and Audit Committee

     This study included both a program audit and an economic assessment of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources grazing lands program relative to net proceeds distributed to trust beneficiaries. In addition to functions of the program audit, Resource Dimensions developed budgets for grazing operations in the primary DNR grazing regions to estimate economic impacts to ranching operations and likely impacts on funds generated. An I/O analysis was conducted to estimate likely regional and statewide economic impacts of the status quo against three potential alternative scenarios. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis of potential policy alternatives possible for implementation was conducted and an interactive CBA model was developed to aid the State in estimating future program alternatives. Resource Dimensions also conducted preliminary valuations and assessed the potential ecosystem service impacts of grazing operations and a range of other economic impacts that may affect beneficiary distributions. Findings were presented to the State Legislature in September 2005.
  • Assessing Public Values and Policy Options for Managing Wild Geese in Scotland. Scottish Executive Agriculture and Biological Research Group.

     This project, conducted for the Scottish Executive Agriculture and Biological Research Group, sought to provide comprehensive qualitative and quantitative information to policymakers about the social values and economic costs and benefits of managing four wild geese populations that winter in Scotland. Two case study areas where management conflicts have arisen between geese and agriculture -Islay and Loch of Strathbeg in northeast Scotland- were used to examine these issues in context. Analysis centered on socioeconomic and a cost-benefit study relative to government payment policies for crop damages caused by four locally endangered species of wild geese. Resource Dimensions was a member of the international team of resource and agricultural economists contracted to quantify in monetary terms the non-market benefits of wild goose conservation to the general public, local residents, and visitors, and estimate the costs of goose damage to agriculture. Traditional cost-benefit analyses, together with a multi-method approach including use of preference surveys, focus groups, and choice experiments, were used to ensure that findings were accurate in all regards and to remove methodological bias. Resource Dimensions developed the focus group methodology, facilitated a series of eight focus groups and conducted qualitative and quantitative data analyses relative to focus groups and contingent valuation methods employed in the study.
  • Economic Values, Assets, and Impacts Associated with Protected Forest Lands. Forestry Commission

     This project assessed the economic value and regional economic impacts of different recreation activities (e.g. bicycling, horseback riding, nature watching, general visitors, etc.) in protected forests in the United Kingdom. Direct economic impact assessments were conducted for market activities, in addition to non-market valuation for public use of forestlands. The study also assessed other non-market values that users attach to their visits (e.g. aesthetic, service preferences, health, and ecosystem services). Resource Dimensions developed appropriate non-market valuation tools, conducted non-market valuation workshops, presented information and choice experiments in small group workshops, organized and facilitated focus groups to identify relevant information and criteria for design of the choice experiment model, and performed resulting data analysis. Assessment of local economic impacts of forest recreation was achieved using multiplier analysis, and three alternative valuation methods were used to examine the economic benefits associated with forest recreation. A travel cost model was used to examine per-visit values for various groups of visitors and users, while contingent analysis and choice experiments were used to estimate changes in visitor welfare associated with improvements to recreational facilities in forests.
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