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What are Our Forests Worth?

$4.6 to 8.5 billion for the recharge to our aquifers alone.  That's according to a study of the Ko'olau forest on 'Oahu, prepared by the University of Hawai'i Economic Research Organization in 1999.

When aesthetic values, water quality, climate control, biodiversity, and other forest services were calculated, the total value is estimated at $7.4 to 14 billion.

"In the case of our forests, we pay no bill for the capture and filtering of rainwater that replenishes our island aquifers, no bill for natural erosion control and clear nearshore waters.  We pay no bill for the uptake of carbon dioxide and the supply of oxygen, for the calming influence of green mountains on our psyche, or the shady trails we hike.
Contemplate the cost of replicating just one of these essential services through feats of technology or engineering and you begin to appreciate the contribution our forests make to our economy and quality of life."

Exerted from "Last Stand - The Vanishing Hawaiian Forest" prepared by The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii.  For a free copy, contact TNC.