I read this poster at the 2011 AERE meeting:
Beyond the scenic views or flora and fauna, metropolitan area homeowners who live near a national wildlife refuge now have a different reason to appreciate the proximity. Research shows that such homes have higher property values than those that are farther from a reserve.
A study conducted by North Carolina State University researchers and issued on Wednesday by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service surveyed homes in urban areas that are close to refuges in three regions: the Northeast, the Southeast and California-Nevada. (They did not include data from, say, the Southwest, where refuges tend to be farther from urban centers.)
For homes that are less than a half-mile from a wildlife refuge and within eight miles of an urban center, property values were 7 to 9 percent higher on average in the Southeast and 4 to 5 percent higher in the Northeast. In the California-Nevada area, such homes were worth 3 to 6 percent more.
The data, drawn from the 2000 census, found that the 36 refuges studied added $300 million to local property values — a boon to both homeowners and the tax base.
Does that make me cool?