By: Yen, Steven T.; Boxall, Peter C.; Adamowicz, Wiktor L.
As provincial governments in Canada trim budgets, fewer funds are available for environmental conservation programs. Many jurisdictions are letting private interests and/or users of the resource base help fund conservation projects. Thus funding for conservation is becoming more dependent on donations to environmental causes either through direct giving of funds or through memberships in organizations. This study explores some determinants of private contributions to environmental conservation activities through an econometric analysis of donations and memberships relating to wildlife habitat protection and enhancement. We use data from a 1991 survey conducted in the three prairie provinces that provides information on donation behavior, income, wildlife-related activity, household compositions, and a variety of other factors. A double-hurdle econometric model is used to allow independent variables to have different effects on the probability of donations and the level of donations. Our empirical results suggest that changes in the economy will be important to donation behavior. Declines in participation and recruitment in hunting will also have impacts on donations to conservation causes, but these impacts, although significant, may not be as large. However, consumptive and nonconsumptive activities may be influenced by management agencies and used to bolster environmental donations.