Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Grala, Robert K.

Committee Member

Evans, David L.

Committee Member

Grado, Stephen C.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Grasslands provide a number of goods and services that benefit humans, but only a few have a market value. Despite the benefits provided, native grasslands continue to be degraded. Lack of a proper valuation, including a monetary value of nonmarket goods and services, has become one of the factors contributing to this trend. The objective of this research was to quantify the cost of increasing provision of ecosystem services from grasslands in the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative geographic area of the United States and identify effective landowner engagement strategies for their provision. A contingent valuation method (CVM) was used to estimate landowner willingness to accept (WTA) compensation in exchange for implementing management practices preserving grassland ecosystems. The mean WTA compensation level was $290.10 per acre per year during a 10-year contract. Results will be helpful in quantifying future funding levels necessary for implementation of coordinated conservation activities in grasslands and other ecosystems and developing conservation programs in the United States and other countries.