Fresh water springs are unique natural resources that are contained within public lands across the United States. Natural resource management on public lands generates many interesting policy issues as the competing goals of conservation, recreational opportunity provision, and revenue generation often clash. As demand for recreational cave diving sites increases, this article provides natural resource site managers with the first statistical estimate of divers' willingness to pay (WTP) to dive cave and cavern systems. Using a contingent valuation model (CVM) and correcting for hypothetical bias, we find that divers' median WTP for cave diving opportunities at the site of interest is between $52 and $83 per dive. Model results also provide weak evidence of diver sensitivity with respect to scope, as individuals are willing to pay more for dives that are judged to be higher in quality.
JEL Classification Code: Q26, Q51