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Abstract

Contingent-valuation estimates for white-water boating passengers are compared with Likert ratings by river guides. The approach involves asking whether passengers and their guides ordinally rank alternative flows the same. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Contingent Valuation Panel (1993) suggested "one might want to compare its (contingent-valuation's) outcome with that provided by a panel of experts." River guides constitute a counterfactual panel of "experts." For commercial trips, optimum flows are 34,000 cfs and 31,000 cfs for passengers and guides, and the comparable figures for private trips are 28,000 cfs and 29,000 cfs. In the NOAA Panel framework, passengers can evaluate the consequences of various river flows and translate this into contingent-valuation responses.

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