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This study determines if projected land use changes and their benefit estimates are biased in favor of project development. Both the base period land use estimates and the projected land use changes in a sample of 40 projects in two contrasting geographical regions were found to be reliable. The differences between projected and observed land use changes, when observed land use changes are measured from aerial photographs, were not statistically significant. Four alternative land use projection techniques examined in the study did not improve upon the reliability of SCS land use projections. The SCS land use projection procedures for Small watershed areas provide reliable measures of land use trends for estimating land use benefits due to project measures.


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