Citizen Participation in the York River Basin Study: The Use of The Value Trade-Off Questionnaire

Kevin John Phillips

DOI: 10.2190/30YR-PVG5-HCQJ-0N64


Effective environmental plans for a River Basin can only be accomplished by including the public in the planning process. Conventional public participation methods such as hearings cannot by themselves effectively be used as a screening tool, for they rarely represent a true cross-section of the Basin's population, and their results are often chaotic, confusing and difficult to interpret. A new tool for including the public's values was tested and implemented in the Virginia, York River Basin Study. A value trade-off questionnaire comprised of four questions was administered to a selected group of twenty-four citizens representing six different groups of people in the York River Basin. Each question addressed a different trade-off germain to the selection of the York River Basin Environmental plans. The result indicated a strong desire for environmental protection and the willingness to pay for that protection through curtailed economic development, if necessary. The questionnaire proved easy to administer, interpret, and provided a quantitative measure of peoples preferences necessary for effective implementable planning.

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