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Abstract

This paper presents a case study of the economic damages to homeowners in a northern New Jersey community due to an exotic forest insect--the hemlock woolly adelgid. Hedonic property value methods are used to estimate the effect of hemlock health on property values. A statistically significant relationship between hemlock health and residential property values is established. Moreover, there are some signs of spillover impacts from hemlock decline, as negative effects are realized on the parcels where the declining hemlock stands are located as well as on neighboring properties. These results give some indication of the benefits of potential control programs and strategies and also show support for community- or neighborhood-based programs in residential settings.

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