Department of Economics

Maximizing Conservation and In-Kind Cost Share

Department of Economics 
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2010-08

Maximizing Conservation and In-Kind Cost Share:
Applying Goal Programming to Forest Protection

Jacob R. Fooks and Kent D. Messer


This research evaluates the potential gains in benefits from using Goal Programming to preserve forestland. Two- and three-dimensional Goal Programming models are developed and applied to data from applicants to the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, the largest forest protection program in the United States. Results suggest that not only do these model yield substantial increases in benefits, but by being able to account for both environmental benefits and in-kind partner cost share, Goal Programming may be flexible enough to facilitate adoption by program managers needing to account for both ecological and political factors.

JEL Codes: C6, Q2

Keywords: Goal programming, multi-objective programming, conservation optimization, forest conservation, environmental services, in-kind cost sharing, matching grants

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