John Rogers, President, Keystone Conservation Trust
This webinar answers a basic question. "What is nature worth?" Does it have a hidden value beyond the beauty and welfare of a community? What are we willing to pay to maintain or enhance our quality of life, health, cost of living and economy that nature provides?
Because Mother Nature does not write receipts, nature's financial value is often overlooked or undervalued in policy debates, investment decisions and personal choices. Dauphin County's scenic mountains, farmland views, river corridors, and large forest habitats are more than just pretty places. They are productive assets that generate millions of dollars each year in savings, earnings and avoided costs for residents, businesses and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. They contribute to our local economies and property values, and they help us save on everything from healthcare to stormwater management. They also naturally create greenery, beauty, a sense of place, and improve the air we breathe and the water we drink. Just as financial analysts express return on investments, we now have a way to express a return on the environment (ROE). ROE explains nature's invisible financial value in terms everyone can understand. As a result, policy makers, businesses and residents can begin to see natural systems as a portfolio of financial assets, rather than a commodity or added expense.