Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Cultural and Environmental Resource Management

Committee Chair

Dr. Toni Sipic

Second Committee Member

Dr. Charles Wassell Jr.

Third Committee Member

Dr. Robert Hickey

Abstract

The combination of increasing cougar populations and the rising human population in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) areas suggests that the number of human-cougar encounters will rise as well. The increase in human-cougar encounters creates potential issues in regard to public safety, public policy, and management of predators. For the purposes of this research, I employ a housing dataset for eleven counties in western Washington in order to quantify the impacts of a confirmed cougar sighting on the sale value of a home. Specifically, I employ the hedonic real estate price model. Results show statistically significant impacts on housing values in the presence of a cougar sighting. These results suggest the need for changes in policy regarding management of cougars, as well as land use management.

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