This project is a case study of the benefits of a natural area in Highland Park, Illinois, Prairie Wolf Slough (PWS). A series of experiments were set up to quantify the carbon storage potential of PWS. The results presented here provide an estimate of the aboveground biomass in the forest of PWS with a preliminary estimate of the stored carbon’s value. This is done using the social cost of carbon. It was found that species carbon storage differed based on the number of individuals for each species and their physical size. In addition, using the 2015 discount rate of 3%, which is $12, the forest at PWS would be worth $15,588.99 for standing carbon. Using the discount rate of 5%, which is $36, the forest at PWS would be worth $50,664.21 for standing carbon. Without the assignment of a monetary value on terrestrial natural capital, and any ecosystem service for that matter, the default value is zero and/or unrecognized, and, consequently, exploited. This de facto exclusion of the natural world’s value in decision making has led to a call to value the services provided by nature, as is the goal and expected contribution of this paper.
Hoff, Megan L.
"Ecosystem Services of Prairie Wolf Slough: Quantifying Carbon Storage,"
DePaul Discoveries: Vol. 4
, Article 9.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/depaul-disc/vol4/iss1/9