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Payments for Ecosystem Services

Natural assets such as rivers, forests, grasslands and wetlands benefit society through the ecosystem services they provide, including water purification, air quality improvements, and flood protection, among other benefits. However, these services are frequently left out of resource management decisions because they aren’t easily quantified or assigned a monetary value. As a result, society undervalues these environmental benefits, contributing to the loss of natural systems. Environmental markets can provide incentives to preserve ecosystems and the services they provide.  

USDA Resources

Ecosystem Services Site

Forests, Water and People Analysis

From Forest to Faucet: Drinking Water as an Ecosystem Service

Caring for Our Natural Assets: An Ecosystem Services Perspective

Valuing Ecosystem Services

NRCS Landscape Conservation Initiatives

Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)

NRE Analysis on Natural Resources and Environment Issues

"The Use of Markets to Increase Private Investment in Environmental Stewardship"

Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

Ecosystem Program

Conservation Reserve Program

Data and Modeling for Environmental Credit Trading

Other Resources

RFF: "Ecosystem Services: Quantification, Policy Applications, and Current Federal Capabilities" external site

Draft Federal Inventory of Ecosystem Services Research and Policyexternal site

Ecosystem Services: A Guide for Decision Makersexternal site

Creating Markets for Ecosystem Services: Notes from the Fieldexternal site

CRS: Provisions Supporting Ecosystem Services Markets in US Farm Bill Legislationexternal site