The contingent valuation method was used to obtain estimates of willingness to pay for removing the two dams on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and restoring the ecosystem and the anadromous fishery. Using the dichotomous choice voter referendum format, the mean annual value per household is $59 in Clallam County, $73 for the rest of Washington, and $68 for households in the rest of the United States. The aggregate benefits to residents of the State of Washington is $138 million annually for 10 years and between $3 and $6 billion to all U.S. households. These estimates suggest that the general public would be willing to pay to remove old dams that block salmon migration.
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