Evaluating the Cost and Benefits of Living Snow Fences

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  02/17/2012


Researchers developed a calculator for estimating Living Snow Fences program payments to landowners by identifying costs, benefits and obstacles to implementing the program, including landowner costs and constraints, agency constraints and potential agency benefits from avoided carbon emissions and avoided snow removal and safety costs. Recommendations include offering shorter and more flexible LSF contracts, increasing compensation at key locations, adjusting payments for inflation, tying payments to corn and land prices, increasing payments in the first three years to offset maintenance, reducing risk and landowner liability, compensating for replanting and increasing awareness. By contracting 40 percent of sites with snow problems to LSF, MnDOT could save $1.3 million per year. The tool is available at www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/livingsnowfence/cost-benefit.html.

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