In April 2016, CSF lead a three-day training for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in Sacramento, CA. Participants included 22 members of the CDFW staff, and 5 members of the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC). We were able to reach 8 staff in field offices across California using remote access technology and our online workspace. The majority of participants also attended our Economic Tools for Natural Resource Management course in October 2015.
The three-day course built on the concepts from our first training and was an in-depth look at they types of economic analysis required in California’s regulatory process. CSF training staff, Kim Bonine and Niki Gribi, collaborated with Professor Steve Hackett from Humboldt State University to design new curriculum specifically tailored to address the CDFW Economic Impact Statement Guidelines and associated forms (STD 399, ISOR and SRIA).
The course started with a basic overview of how economists approach policy, followed by detailed explanations of economic methods to evaluate policy including cost-benefit analysis and economic impact analysis. Participants had opportunities to work with each method through stylized examples and exercises. We presented a new matrix designed by CSF for CDFW which outlines all the questions on the STD 399 form and their corresponding analysis method. The matrix also includes suggestions about the type and amount of data and resources needed to answer each question.
On day three of the course, we looked at relevant case studies using each method. Each case study was developed and/or adapted specifically for this audience, and to address the topic of this training. For cost-benefit analysis, we looked at an analysis of dam removal on the Klamath River in Northern California. For economic impact analysis, we looked at an example from the California commercial spiny lobster fishery, and an example of recreational salmon fishing as it related to the Clear Creek restoration project. We ended the day with a lively discussion of the analysis already conducted for the lead ammunition ban regulation currently in progress, and the work that remains to be done by CDFW and FGC on that regulatory package.