Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 22:2/3, 273±286, 2001
# 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
The In¯uence of Riparian Protection Measures on
Residential Property Values: The Case of the Oregon
Plan for Salmon and Watersheds
Trade Research Center, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State
University±Bozeman, Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
LUDWIG M. EISGRUBER
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds encourages residential property owners to plant riparian buffers in
an effort to reduce stream temperature and thus improve ®sh habitat. This study estimates the change in the value
of streamside residential properties in response to planting a treed riparian buffer. A hedonic pricing analysis
suggests that treed riparian buffers reduce the market value of stream-front residential property in the study area.
Key Words: hedonic pricing, Oregon plan, residential property value, riparian restoration
1. Introduction and background
The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds was developed to restore coastal salmon
populations. It became the foundation of an attempt by the State of Oregon to prevent these
®sh from being listed under the Endangered Species Act (Weber, 1997). More recently, the
plan has been expanded to include cooperative efforts to improve water quality throughout
the state and address the needs of other ®sh species (Oregon, 1997). The Plan addresses
many issues. However, elevated summer stream temperatures have received considerable
attention as these reduce the survival, growth, and reproduction rates of steelhead trout and
salmon (Hostetler, 1991).
Many programs designed to enhance or protect environmental quality are directed at
industrial or agricultural practices. The Oregon Plan represents a departure from these
norms by including residential property owners within the scope of recommended
activities under the plan. Speci®cally, private property owners are encouraged to plant
riparian buffers that reduce stream temperatures for ®sh (Beschta et al., 1987; Boyd, 1996;
Sullivan et al., 1990; and Brown, 1983).
A riparian buffer is a strip of vegetation (often
trees) that buffers the stream area from adjacent activities. Buffers run the length of the
stream along its banks and can vary in width. The quality and quantity of shade provided