Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015
This project was designed to determine the significant drivers of land prices near wetlands, with the goal of offering recommendations to landowners that may be trying to choose the best option for their wetland. This process included measuring whether or not the presence of wetlands reduced property values in a section of Seward County within the Nebraska Rainwater Basin. To accomplish this, I use the hedonic pricing method with statistical regression analysis. The results indicate that although there is a bias against wetlands, it accounts for less than half of the change in sale price within these parcels of land. The reason for this is because the single most important driver of property value is the amount of irrigated acres for a parcel of land. The amount of dry and grassland acres showed a negative effect on property value relative to irrigated land, which indicates the high value of irrigated land. Although there is a strong enough market for agricultural products to make it seem more economically feasible to fill wetlands rather than conserve them, it is possible to do so without forgoing all potential profit. This study explores Wetland Mitigation Banking and Conservation Easements as potential alternatives for landowners.