Drainage Investment and Wetlands Loss: an Analysis of the National Resources Inventory Data

Aaron J. Douglas, Richard L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The United States Soil Conservation Service (SCS) conducts a survey for the purpose of establishing an agricultural land use database. This survey is called the National Resources Inventory (NRI) database. The complex NRI land classification system, in conjunction with the quantitative information gathered by the survey, has numerous applications. The current paper uses the wetland area data gathered by the NRI in 1982 and 1987 to examine empirically the factors that generate wetland loss in the United States. The cross-section regression models listed here use the quantity of wetlands, the stock of drainage capital, the realty value of farmland and drainage costs to explain most of the cross-state variation in wetland loss rates. Wetlands preservation efforts by federal agencies assume that pecuniary economic factors play a decisive role in wetland drainage. The empirical models tested in the present paper validate this assumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • wetlands, non-market benefits, drainage, farmland realty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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