Thesis (M.S., Natural Resources) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | To assess both monetary and non-monetary benefits of Ecosystem Services, constructivist Symbolic Interactionism and critical Political Ecology provide insight where Economic analysis alone fails. This research incorporates those theories and the theory of Bioregional Imagination within a Grounded mixed-methods assessment of streamflow benefits for residents of the Salmon River Basin (SRB), Idaho where climate change models predict reductions in streamflow rates as high as 20 to 40% by 2080.
But, what is the value of streamflow for residents and how will streamflow reductions and alterations impact the SRB? Findings presented here indicate that streamflow contributes cultural benefits in conjunction with employment that provides both fiscal and heritage and/or other intangible benefits; residents report a monetary trade-off for living in the SRB in favor of nonmonetary values. Through economic analysis combined with qualitative and statistical consideration of the river as a significant symbol, this research provides actual measurements of those values.